The Waterboys still following the music

Wendy Rose
Published on July 13, 2013
Mike Scott

Embarking on their first North American tour in six years, The Waterboys will be stopping in St. John's next week, much to the excitement of their many Newfoundland fans.
St. John's is one of the five cities featured on the Canadian tour, which started in Ottawa on July 12 and wraps up in Vancouver on July 21. After a quick break, The Waterboys will be back on the road spreading their special blend of traditional Celtic folk and classic rock 'n' roll across America.

Band leader Mike Scott is excited to return to the island, even though less than a year has passed since his last visit.

Last fall, The Waterboys played an almost-secret private show at the Capital Hotel in November. The night ended in a casual jam session at a local pub.

"We got invited to play private shows in St. John's and Halifax by the Steele brothers, Rob and John Steele. In fact, John Steele is the promoter of the shows we're doing in St. John's," Scott said.

"We came out and did those shows for an invited audience and it was good fun. A really great experience. Afterwards, we all went down to Erin's Pub and had a jam session with the musicians who were there," Scott said. "We were hanging out, playing along with each other. It was really cool. I love doing that after a show."

The Waterboys don't always venture out into the local nightlife, but something about St. John's felt vaguely familiar to the singer.

"St. John's reminded me of the west of Ireland and the islands of Scotland, where these things still happen. If we were in Washington D.C., I'm not sure if we would do something like that. We might, if someone invited us to a friendly place, but it's not quite the same as wandering down Water Street and sticking your nose into the different pubs to see what the music sounds like."

"There aren't many places where stuff like that happens, but St. John's seems to be one of them. We really dug it."

Fans might end up running into the band members during their stay on the island as it seems another night out on the city might be in the cards for The Waterboys.

"We're in St. John's for three nights so I'm sure we'll get up to some mischief. Might try to visit outside of the town. We'll just have to wait and see," Scott said with a laugh.

It's been 30 years since the band was formed, but The Waterboys are showing no signs of slowing down.

"You know, I'm still a freak. I never sold out, I never went straight. I always did what the music told me. The music has always been a life for me and it's the same for my colleagues," Scott said.

"When we play, we're still plugged into the same mainline that we were plugged into 30 years ago and our audiences can tell."

Audiences at the Holy Heart of Mary Theatre will be able to judge with their own ears Monday and Tuesday nights in two nearly sold-out shows.