Arrived and the lights drop as seven figures take to the stage, a modest crowd greets The Waterboys as the thrash of the guitar announces the as frontman Mike Scott kicks off proceedings with a bang. Short and sweet the first number flys by, a testament to the quality of the songwriting by this fine Irish / British Folk Rock band. Melodic and punchy, you can’t help but be charmed by their on stage presence and the warmth radiated as they glide their way trough a timeless set of classic numbers and modern day beauties. By now the bravo-tango-niners have put down their rouge in the bar and hit the floor par-tay with the common people. The hall fills nicely to add a bit more context to this evenings religious gathering.
Two beautiful ladies each with the voice of an angel provide a much needed visual presence as they shake, rattle and roll their way through tonight’s set, hips jiving along to the beat which transfix the audience below, swaying in time with the beat adding a little magic to it all. Classic guitar riffs echo out across the infamous Ulster Hall that make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, the sound is so full and rich you’d think there is an orchestra up there never mind seven mortals, the voices of the faithful below carry the lyrics far into the roof of this hallowed hall much like the greats such as Zepplin, Van Morrison, Motorhead and the likes who have proceeded them.
By the fourth track Mike has taken his seat at the piano playing a thunderous and rhythmic passage that pulls you in with every pummel of the Ivory keys, the nuance that the accompanying violin makes for a majestic and worthy serenade. With a new album ‘Where the action is’ dropping this Friday there is no shortage of fresh material to mix things up and they throw in new numbers at ease. Their set is a fusion of Blues laden, groove driven story telling that envelopes you from start to finish. Slick keyboards provided by Brother Paul all the way from Memphis via Nashville Tennessee on the Hammond Organ is worth the fee alone to hear, and is graciously met and appreciated by the Belfast crowd.
You can’t fault a band like The Waterboys, the song writing is simplistic yet rich, melodic and easy on the ear. As a live band they bring their A game, and that’s all anyone asks when laying down their green to be entertained. Many here would have have been raised up on the music of such a band, some may have grown into The Waterboys, but for many a night like this will leave an indelible mark on their memory of a night together in a historic hall, surround by friends united by the love for a band like no other.
Where The Action Is is released Friday May 24th.
Photography by :metalplanetmusic
Review by : Mark McGrogan Editor – Rock ‘N’ Load Mag http://rocknloadmag.com