An American Premiere at Town Hall with the Waterboys

March 15th, 2013

Mike Scott formed the Waterboys in early ’80s London. The Celtic rockers’ eponymous debut LP arrived in 1983. And from then on, the band’s lineup consisted of the singer-songwriter and a rotating group of talented musicians (primarily from the UK). And while Scott records music solo and as the Waterboys, he says there’s “no difference between Mike Scott and the Waterboys. They both mean the same thing. They mean myself and whoever are my current traveling musical companions.” To that end, Scott’s been a joined onstage by more than 50 member of the Waterboys. The band has 10 studio albums, and the most recent—out elsewhere in 2011 but not here until 3/26—An Appointment with Mr. Yeats, just might be the most ambitious. Scott had long been interested in W. B. Yeats, so he set music to the famed poet’s work. And if that initially seems strange to you, it didn’t to Scott. Instead, he thought the poems were “a great unused set of fucking rock and roll lyrics.” There are 14 songs on the album, but the Waterboys (above, doing “Everybody Takes a Tumble”) initially began with 20, playing them for audiences before heading to the studio. In labeling one of those shows “epic,” The Guardian says, “Scott’s confidence in these songs is not misplaced.” Which is precisely why he and the Waterboys will perform An Appointment with Mr. Yeats in its American premiere next Wednesday at Town Hall.