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The Waterboys


  • The Waterboys Studio AlbumsThe Waterboys (1983)
  • A Pagan Place (1984)
  • This Is the Sea (1985)
  • Fisherman's Blues (1988)
  • Room to Roam (1990)
  • Dream Harder (1993)
  • A Rock in the Weary Land (2000)
  • Universal Hall (2003)
  • Book of Lightning (2007)

Mike Scott albums

  • Bring 'em All In (1995)
  • Still Burning (1997)

Live Albums and Compilations

  • The Best of the Waterboys 1981 - 1990 (1991)
  • The Secret Life of the Waterboys 1981 - 1985 (1994)
  • The Live Adventures of the Waterboys (1998)
  • The Whole of the Moon: the Music of Mike Scott and the Waterboys (1998)
  • Too Close to Heaven (issued as Fisherman's Blues, Part 2 in the United States) (2001)
  • Karma to Burn (2005)
  • Fisherman's Blues (Collectors Edition) (2006)
  • Room to Roam (Collectors Edition) (2008)
  • Kiss the Wind (Outtakes collection) (2008)
Recommended Listening
  • Fisherman's Blues (1988)
  • Room to Roam (1990)
  • The Best of the Waterboys 1981 - 1990 (1991)
  • Too Close to Heaven (issued as Fisherman's Blues, Part 2 in the United States) (2001)
Band Members
  • Mike Scott
  • Anthony Thistlethwaite
  • Kevin Wilkenson
  • Karl Wallinger
  • Roddy Lorimer
  • Martyn Swain
  • John Caldwell
  • Eddi Reader
  • Chris Whitten
  • Frank Biddulph
  • Steve Wickham
  • Marco Sin
  • Dave Ruffy
  • Guy Chambers
  • Trevor Hutchinson
  • Peter McKinney
  • Fran Breen
  • Vinnie Kilduff
  • Colin Blakey
  • Tomas Mac Eoin
  • Jay Dee Daugherty
  • Noel Bridgeman
  • Sharon Shannon
  • Ken Blevins
  • Tim Sanders
  • Simon Clarke
  • Richard Naiff
  • Jeremy Stacey
  • Livingstone Brown
  • Tom Windriff
  • Gordon Davis
  • John Baggott
  • Joe Wadeson
  • Ian McNabb
  • Ray Fean
  • Geoff Dugmore
  • Brad Weissman
  • Paul Beavis
  • Carlos Hercules
  • Steve Walters
  • Mark Smith
  • Damon Wilson
  • John McCullough
  • Katie Kim
  • Simon Wallace
  • Joe Chester
  • Ash Soan
  • Marc ‘Archie’ Arciero
  • Sarah Allen
  • Ruby Ashley
  • Blaise Margail
Concert Review(s)

The Waterboys Live at the Olympia Theatre in 2000

It’s Mike with a new band and it’s a mixture of the old and the new. The band comprises Mike, Jo Wadeson on bass, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums, Richard Naiff on piano. They do a lot of the old favourites. They are really getting into it pounding them out, one classic after another, a real rock solid rock show. And just when you think it might be nice to have some of the Irish songs he goes away and comes back and says ladies and gentlemen please welcome Steven Wickham!!! And of course the place goes absolutely mental. They close the show with brilliant versions of Fisherman’s Blues and Be My Enemy.

The Waterboys Live at the Olympia Theatre in 2003

Mike and Steve and the boys are back in action again with new members Steve and Carlos on bass and drums. Richard, Steve and Mike perform the first part on their own with piano, fiddle and guitar. They do a lot of the new songs from Universal Hall. They really go for it on Bring 'em All In and A life of Sundays. Lovely fiddling from Steve on A Man is in love.

They kick off the full band set with Further Up, Further In and I really enjoy that because I haven’t heard it live before. Peace of Iona has never sounded more lovely. It’s mainly the obvious songs, Fisherman’s Blues, a Bang on the Ear, When Ye Go Away, The Whole of the Moon, Medicine Bow, a real crowd pleasing set.

The Waterboys Live in Killarney in 2005

They start off with Mike singing the Whole of the Moon, with Richard on the piano. Lovely fiddling on Peace of Iona from Steve, it’s sure to be one of the standout tracks in their collection for many years to come. Everybody claps along with the instrumental parts of a man is in love and the pan within. The Stolen Child is a lovely surprise for me because I never heard that song performed live before. Still prefer Sean Tyrell's version though!! There's a generous helping of the classics, All The Things She Gave Me, Fisherman's Blues, Bring 'em All In and The Pan Within. I guess like everybody else I miss the full band but I also enjoy small groups/trad groups. Mike says he usually doesn't do requests but he will do a Bang on the Ear. They close the show with Sweet Thing and a great version of a Bang on the Ear.

The Waterboys - An Appointment with WB Yeats at the Abbey Theatre

In some ways it’s the most ambitious thing Mike has ever done, and on another level he has done some of it before. There are a lot of great Yeats poems, the Passing of the Shee, Love and Death, September 1913, the Lake Isle of Innisfree. The band are brilliant too with Alex on drums and Katie singing and people coming and going. They close the show with the Stolen child and Don’t Bang the drum and Whole of the Moon. Great show.

They said...

I think ‘Raggle Taggle’ was just a stupid term dreamed up by a journalist. The third Waterboys album ‘This is the Sea’ is great. The Waterboys had no influence on us other than influencing us to drink a lot in Dublin.
Kieran Kennedy (The Black Velvet Band)

I really don’t subscribe to the idea that the Waterboys are or really were ‘Raggle Taggle’ whatever that is? Perhaps it was a moniker that the music press gave us. Sure, we played the song ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy’ but give me a break, our repertoire includes huge songs like ‘The Whole of the Moon’ and ‘This is the Sea’.
Steve Wickham (The Waterboys)

I first saw The Waterboys supporting Ultravox in Dublin and I was so impressed I went out and bought an album, I think it was called This is the Sea. Mike Scott is such a brilliant writer and if my memory is sound he had a co-writer the guitarist who was very talented and together they created this wall of sound through great songs, great musicians and a general good vibe from anything they produced. Lyrically the band were very creative. Later on Mike Scott moved over to Ireland and became part of the music scene. He worked with many including Sharon Shannon who was stretching her musical muscles and creating a new sound in Irish Music. The Waterboys certainly embraced Irish music and Steve Wickham was such an integral part of the sound. Fisherman’s Blues was a truly wonderful album. Track after track it just kept getting better. The music was very innovative with a lovely kind sensitivity to the Irish tradition of literature and music. I was very envious of the band having so much money to end in the studios of Dublin and Galway. So yes I liked the Waterboys I still do and continue to listen to their music.
Mike Hanrahan (Stockton’s Wing)

I loved the Waterboys until Room to Roam.
Alan Corr (RTE Guide)

The Waterboys are great.
Julie Feeny (Singer)

The Waterboys made some astonishing records. Whole of the Moon still sounds like the greatest party you have ever been to in full flow. This is the sea is a timeless album, poetic, wild eyed and free. Fisherman’s Blues is my favourite. I loved all the mythical rumours that circulated around Dublin before its release Mike Scott had gone mad making it, had thousands of hours worth of material recorded etc. When I listen to Arcade Fire I hear the Waterboys!
Craig Walker (Power of Dreams)

Why would anybody care what I think about them?
Sean Tyrell (Singer)

For me ‘The Waterboys’ ceased when Karl Wallinger left. I think Mike Scott lost direction after their split and for me lost a lot of the magic.
Jack Dublin (In Tua Nua)

Again I am a fan of the Waterboys, they like the Pogues were pioneers of their approach to the music.
Benny McCarthy (Danú)

I love Mike Scott and the Waterboys, he's a great songwriter/singer, great band.
Dave Clarke (Hothouse Flowers)

My favourite Waterboys album is ‘This Is the Sea’.
Fran Breen (The Waterboys)

I’m a huge fan of the Waterboys with ‘Fisherman's Blues’ being among one of my favourite albums. The true experience of the Waterboys is to see them performing live having such a charismatic front man in Mike Scott and such a defined musical style which takes you to many different places musically and really touches your soul. My musical partner Gavin Ralston toured with the waterboys for 2 years and has often recounted those times with fond memories.
Luan Parle (Singer)

Well again a politically loaded question as some of my closest friends have worked with Mike and The Waterboys. The original line up with Karl Wallinger was absolutely breath taking, and then with Trevor and Steve etc. on Fishermans Blues, its always been a hit or miss band, but Mike is a soul searcher who pushes the envelope, there’s more to come, and I thought his recent shows were fantastic.
Wayne Sheehy (Hothouse Flowers)

I only know one song, I think it’s called Fisherman’s Blues, I like that song.
Jem Finer (The Pogues)

One or two good tunes, over rated in my book.
Matt Spalding (In Tua Nua)

I am a massive fan and met Mike Scott when he was in Gaeltacht and working with the Sean Nós singer Tomás Mac Eoin. A Man Is In Love is one of my favourite songs of all time by them and in my days with 2fm I remember on one occassion Mike Scott, the Sawdoctors and Fr Brian Darcy were all singing the The Whole of the Moon outside the Roadcaster during the Trip to TIPP.
Alan Corcoran (RTE)

Mike is very talented. ‘This is The Sea’ is still one of my favourite albums but I think the line up he had then with Karl, Anto and Steve was key. I didn’t really get into the ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy’ thing after that.
Paul Byrne (In Tua Nua)

Big fan. First saw them in 1985 in Croke Park. Was lucky enough to join the band in ’97-’98 and Mike is a legend.
Gavin Ralston (Musician/Producer)

The Waterboys are excellent.
Vinny Kilduff (In Tua Nua/The Waterboys)

I thoroughly enjoyed the early Waterboys (Mike Scott's “big music”) and still have plenty of time for Mike's best work.
Eamon Carr (Horslips)

The Pogues and the Waterboys are two of the best groups I’ve ever heard.
Greg Boland (Moving Hearts)

My favourite Waterboys album would be "A Pagan Place" with "This is The Sea" a close second. I think we had a distinctive voice then which got lost with the later Irish input. My favourite tracks are "All the Things She Gave Me" and "Red Army Blues."
Anthony Thistle Waite (The Waterboys) on his favourite Waterboys albums and songs.

I'm a bit busy with the Saw Doctors! But there is no reason why I wouldn't play with them again. If I was asked.
Anthony Thistle Waite (The Waterboys) on the possibility of doing something with the Waterboys again.