Today we are going back to the Corn Exchange in Cambridge, and it is bound to be an awesome gig! I do like the Corn Exchange as a venue, big, but small enough to get that intimate feel. The Waterboys are playing tonight, I don’t know them too well, but Neil assures me I will know more songs than I realise.
This time we wont be caught up in traffic, hopefully. we going to try a different route, and leave a bit earlier if possible.
We get there in good time, but parking is obviously not as easy today, we have to drive up and down a few times but get lucky eventually. Earlier on, when we drove past the Corn Exchange, there was quite a queue already…looks like it might be a mission to get to the front today. Especially as the Corn Exchange is long rather than wide, that means there isn’t room for many frontrowers.
The queue has gone down when we arrive, people have already been let in, get the tickets checked and our hands stamped, and in we go! It isn’t too bad actually, most people are loitering by the bar, we go through the next set of doors, and yes, the front row is taken, we do find a spot behind a couple of girls, so it’s ok we’ll have a great view. There does seem to be a bit of a gap between a couple of guys, I assume they are waiting for people to join them, so I’ll behave and wont push in. We get chatting to the two girl in front of us, one of them is very excited, she has seen them many times, her friend behind her is a Waterboys virgin, as I am come to think of it. How can I have missed seeing so many great bands in my youth? Meanwhile a couple turned up to my right and had the cheek to claim that spot on the barriers, I missed out there, then again, those two people were quite short, so I can’t be too cross.
There wasn’t going to be a support band tonight, the show was split into 2 parts, the old stuff and the new material. Hence the fact we didn’t have to wait too long, the band come on stage and the anticipation was amazing, felt a little bit like the calm before the storm. they started the set with “Rags”, followed by “all the things she gave me”, the sound quality was superb, well done Corn Exchange again, you are fast turning into my favourite venue, if only you weren’t so far away.
Mike Scott‘ presence on stage is brilliant, I liked the bit were he said ” Love songs are us” , he reminisces about the first time he played at the Corn Exchange, he had a fight with the girlfriend and could see her glaring at him from the side of the stage. Scott moved between the microphone at the center of the stage and the piano, Steve Wickham is awesome playing the fiddle, you can’t help but being drawn to him. A young girl, Irish singer Katie Kim join in for a few songs. After about 40 minutes the band took a break for about 20 minutes, that was actually quite nice, we had a chance to “rearrange” ourselves, talk to the people around us, because as the atmosphere shifted people were far more chatty. the young man to my right told me he has seen them many many times, first time in the eighties. My fellow Waterboys virgin enjoyed it very much too. I have to say, the one thing that annoyed me a little was the constant chatting of people during the set, especially the short couple that pushed in the front, why do people do that? You pay a lot of money to see a band, you push your way to the front, and than you chat loudly! I really don’t get it!!
The second half consisted of Mike Scott’s last album, An appointment with Mr. Yeats, I hadn’t really listen to it, but Neil wasn’t to sure, he thought is was very different and he couldn’t make his mind up if he liked it.
I have to say it was different, in a strange way pulling me in to his world, seeing the show I was quite mesmerised, but I’m not sure I would listen to it at home. Wickham and Hallawell came on stage wearing Venetian masks, they seem to be duelling with each other, Mike Scott appeared with a different mask on and starts reciting “The second Coming”. Fantastic.
this has left me with quite a mix of feelings, exhilaration from the first half, well known songs to sing along to and the magical musical play on stage…..
For the first encore we get “the whole of the moon” and “don’t bang the drum”. And yes, there is a second encore, woohooo, “a man is in love” and to finish with “Fishermann’s Blues”, it throws you right back to the first part of the show. I also manage to bag myself a set list….
I have to say that was an awesome gig to watch, everything seemed to work and feel right. I’m seriously considering Cornbury Festival tickets, it would be interesting to see what set the Waterboys play in a Festival setting.
We leave through one of the side doors, totally forgetting to pick up a ticket for me to keep :-(. But, my good friend Neil just told me that he has one for me, he phoned the Corn Exchange on the off chance if they still have the tickets, and they did, plus tour flyers. thank you 🙂