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The Waterboys

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  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

  • The Waterboys

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Steve Wickham, Anthony Thistlethwaite

All Music Guide:

Led by the literate singer/songwriter Mike Scott, the group's sole constant member, the mercurial Waterboys formed in London in 1981. Born December 14, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Scott first became involved in music as the creator of the fanzine Jungleland and later played in a series of local punk outfits. After college, where he studied English and philosophy, Scott and his band, Another Pretty Face, moved to London; following the group's breakup, he formed the Waterboys, so named after a line in the Lou Reed song "The Kids" but wholly appropriate given Scott's recurring lyrical fascination with sea imagery.

A newspaper advertisement calling for musicians led to a response from multi-instrumentalist Anthony Thistlethwaite; along with drummer Kevin Wilkinson, the Waterboys issued their self-titled debut in 1983. Keyboardist Karl Wallinger and trumpeter Roddy Lorimer joined for the 1984 follow-up, A Pagan Place, which expanded the group's rich, dramatic sound while further exploring Scott's interest in spirituality. With 1985's This Is the Sea, the Waterboys reached an early peak; a majestic, ambitious record, it earned the group a significant hit with the single "The Whole of the Moon."

However, after the album's release, Wallinger departed to form World Party, which prompted Scott and Thistlethwaite to relocate to Ireland and begin with a clean slate. When the Waterboys returned in 1988 with the acclaimed Fisherman's Blues, they were joined by traditional Irish players like fiddler Steve Wickham, drummer Dave Ruffy, keyboardist Guy Chambers, and bassist Marco Weissman, resulting in a stripped-down, folky sound that was continued on 1990's Room to Roam.

In 1991, Scott moved to New York without Thistlethwaite or any other bandmembers; the release of 1993's Dream Harder, cut with session musicians, marked a return to an electric, more rock-oriented sound. Soon Scott moved back to Scotland, where he began a lengthy stay at a spiritual commune; there he recorded the folk-tinged Bring 'Em All In under his own name, apparently putting the Waterboys to rest for good.

On July 17, 1999, drummer Kevin Wilkinson committed suicide in his countryside home in Swindon, Wiltshire, England, just prior to jetting off on an American tour with Howard Jones. Wilkinson, who had also worked with Squeeze, China Crisis, Bonnie Raitt, and the Proclaimers, was a member of the Waterboys since their 1983 self-titled effort.

Good fortune was in the wings, for Mike Scott resurrected the Waterboys name in 2000. Rock in the Weary Land marked the band's first release in seven years. Thistlethwaite and Wickham would return to the group, and tours across the world would prove successful. Fisherman's Blues, Pt. 2, an album featuring previously unavailable material from the Fisherman's Blues sessions, appeared in summer 2002. Scott returned to the studio for 2003's Universal Hall, followed by Book of Lightning in 2007.

After a couple of years of touring and time off, Scott assembled and released a compilation of unreleased songs from the Waterboys This Is the Sea sessions entitled In a Special Place in 2011, and also published a book entitled, Kiss the Wind: A Waterboy's Adventures in Music. He and bassist Scott Arciero also assembled a new version of the Waterboys -- Wickham (fiddle), Katie Kim (vocals), James Hallawell (keyboards), Kate St John (sax, oboe), Blaise Margail (trombone), Ralph Salmins (drums), Sarah Allen (flute), and Joe Chester (guitar) -- who began performing together in late 2010 and early 2011. In March they entered a studio to commence recording a new album. An Appointment with Mr. Yeats, a collection of new songs whose lyrics were taken from the poems of William Butler Yeats. The sessions were completed in June. The album was released in Europe in the early fall on Proper, and in the United States in early 2012.

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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
09.17.15 Viva la Feria Albacete, Spain
09.21.15 Barcelona Arts On Stage Barcelona, Spain
09.23.15 La Riviera Madrid, Mad Spain
09.27.15 Kaufleuten Zurich, ZH Switzerland
09.28.15 Batschkapp Frankfurt, Hesse Germany
09.29.15 Markthalle Hamburg Hamburg, HH Germany
10.01.15 Freiheizhalle Munich, BY Germany
10.02.15 Postbahnhof Berlin, BE Germany
10.04.15 De Effenaar Eindhoven, NB Netherlands
10.05.15 Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht, Netherlands

Activity

  • 09.04.15 The correct use of ruffles. Participants in 2015 Fashion Week please note. http://t.co/mWw5MEzRsi
  • 09.04.15 Beans. Spill 'em, Dude. http://t.co/kkHK73aYwv
  • 09.04.15 Former CLASH guitarist and BAD man MICK JONES six instrumentals http://t.co/SzJI94Ab0I my fave: Spaghetti Junction, but all beautiful
  • 09.04.15 MICK JONES 6 fab instrumentals from "Ex Libris" recently released, streaming here: http://t.co/SzJI94Ab0I My fave: Spaghetti Junction.
  • 09.04.15 Beautiful piece by Ram Dass on the role of the guru in spiritual work https://t.co/oPuvdMPnNH
  • 09.04.15 One Direction have really freaked out since they took that break http://t.co/a8dwIc4kXe
  • 09.03.15 Possibly the worst article I've ever read in the Guardian. Unless it's a piss-take, in which case it's just bad. http://t.co/oIU8q1WLAN
  • 09.03.15 RT @johnbrody75: @MickPuck Petition for the irish government https://t.co/FHOTcZAm9h
  • 09.03.15 Here's a more powerful petition asking the UK government to open the borders to Syrian refugees. https://t.co/IzIvHpXE9e
  • 09.02.15 Petition asking the UK Government to admit Syrian refugees in the name of humanity https://t.co/TBn5ooUWsd
  • 09.02.15 RT @Waterboys: The Fall 2015 Modern Blues tour kicks off in Spain on the 17th September! Tickets and info: https://t.co/BnsEFArNek http://t…
  • 09.02.15 The cabbie has mercifully turned it down for me and now it sounds like several flies buzzing round a turd #stressradio