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The Waterboys: Symphony Hall Birmingham

by midlands gig reporters

The Waterboys were formed in London, in the early '80s led by Edinburgh native singer+guitarist & songwriter Mike Scott, the ensemble's only constant member, with the supporting musicians from England, Scotland and Wales, ever changing around him.

Scott with Anthony Thistlethwaite on bass+mandolin, Karl Wallinger on keyboards and Kevin Wilkinson on drums, released the band's eponymous full-length debut in July 1983; the disc, which included the magnificent single "A Girl Called Johnny", was hailed as a masterpiece by critics.
"A Pagan Place", which came out the following year, began to fulfill the potential of the band's promising debut, with Scott's ideal of a huge canvas giving the album's melodic drive through his emotional vocals.
In September 1985 The Waterboys released what would become their most successful album to date, "This Is The Sea"; the record hit the top 40 of the U.K. Pop chart spawning the hit single "The Whole Of The Moon"; shortly thereafter, Wallinger left the band to form the highly successful World Party.
1988's "Fisherman's Blues", The Waterboys' fourth LP for which the band were joined by traditional Irish players like fiddler Steve Wickham, who was all over the place on this album peppering the songs with a lovely sense of refinement, keyboardist Guy Chambers, bassist Marco Weissman and drummer Dave Ruffy, resulting in a stripped-down, Celtic-Rock sound which was a marked step away from the “big music” period; the album debuted at #13 in the U.K.

The Waterboys, bandleader Mike Scott, multi-instrumentalist Anthony Thistlethwaite and drummer Kevin Wilkinson, returned after a seven-year hiatus, in September 2000, with "A Rock In The Weary Land".
"Too Close To Heaven", a collection of outtakes and unreleased tracks from the "Fisherman's Blues" era, followed two years later; in the U.S. the compilation was issued on Razor & Tie under the title "The Fisherman's Blues, Pt. 2"
June 2003 saw the release of the band's eighth studio record of original material, "Universal Hall"; the album, recorded in Scotland without Thistlethwaite and Wilkinson, also saw fiddler Steve Wickham return to the fold.

With new material being released soon, The Waterboys played The Birmingham Symphony Hall and our reporters spoke to fans on the night to see what they thought of the Legendary band.

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