The Waterboys – Barrowland Glasgow 29th October 2021
On a damp Glasgow night, the famous Barrowland lights were shinning bright in the night as the Glasgow crowds gathered outside the venue, vaccine passport in hand, they wait to enter the famous old building. Tonight The Waterboys are in town for the first of a two night show on their evening with the Waterboys tour.
A slightly early start than normal in the venue, the atmosphere is building as the venue filled with everyone looking forward to an evening to remember. Tonight’s show is unusually split in two halves, with no support accompanying the band on this tour, the band takes a short break in between.
As the lights dimmed, as the stage lights slowly came to life, you could see the members of the band taking their places and the image of Mike Scott sitting down at the keyboard at the front of stage, acknowledging the audience on this first couple of rows at the front of the venue.
As the opening keys of “Don’t Bang the Drum “set the presence for the evening, this was followed by the excellent “Love and Death”, that highlighted the powerful violin playing from Steve Wickham. The passion could be felt coming through the music of these initial songs, as though the venue brings out that inner passion and captures the moment of the music and carries through the band members on stage, followed by the awesome Islandman drew more focus of Brother John on the keyboards enjoying the passion and emotion of the music with his fellow bandmates. Mike Scott took to his feet, saying to the audience “you didn’t think I was going to sit here all night”, picking up his guitar he played the title track from the Waterboys third album This is the Sea.
The first set covered various albums dating back to 1983, pleasing a lot of the old fans that might have saw them in the venue when they were supporting U2 on their Unforgettable Fire tour back in 1984. Highlights from the first set has to go to the following: “Dennis Hopper”; “Old England”; “This is the Sea”; & “My Wanderings in the Weary Land”. The Audience was in full voice to the full set, the combined feeling of enjoyment was being felt by the band, as was evident by the expressions on their faces.
As the band came back on to the stage, the house lights went down, they were greeted with an amazing sound from the audience. This second set was going to be epic. The atmosphere in the venue could only be described as magical. Something special was with us, the band opened the second half of the set with “Where the Action is”, followed by “Rosalind ( You married the wrong guy)”.The set went from strength to strength with classics like “A Girl Called Johnny”, “Fisherman Blues” and the awesome “The Pan Within” had the Glasgow audience in full voice.
As the show sadly edged closer to the end, the band closed the set with the Awesome bluesy “Medicine Bow”, before finishing with “Be my Enemy”. The band on top form left the stage before returning to a heros welcome from the Barrowland crowd and delighting them to an amazing two song encore starting with 80’s classic “The Whole of the Moon”, the audience in full voice, were so loud you could hardly hear yourself think. The joy on the faces of fans old and new around the venue was pleasing after what we’ve all been through over the past 18 months, the band finished the show with the classic “And a Bang on the Ear”. As the Mike Scott and Co left the stage you couldn’t have been faulted for feeling, this is what has been missing in our lives through the height of the pandemic.
The Waterboys were back in town and left their mark again in the famous venue. This is a show not to be missed on the tour, if you can catch them at a venue near you, you will not be disappointed.
Review and Photographs by James Edmond