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Concert Review by Nick Morgan

Cabot Hall, Canary Wharf, London - 10/22/04
by super-deluxe guest writer Nick Morgan

One of the reasons for Mike Scott's continued longevity in the music game is his refusal to be put into a box. Always changing, never getting tired. But on Friday night in the middle of London's monument to mendacity he was walled in (with an audience of wedding-reception chaired admirers) by the Temple of Avarice. His response was to open his two-hour set with Universal Hall (from the quite brilliant eponymous album) - a song forged at the Altar of Love. And the effect was magnetic - Scott, pianist Richard Naiff and fiddler Steve Wickham delivering an evening of such intimacy (at one point Scott took time out to poll his audience on a new song) that Mammon was put firmly back into his own box.

With Scott confined to acoustic guitars (rock-star posing notwithstanding), Naiff on electric piano and Hammond organ, and Wickham excelling on violin and electric fuzz-fiddle (hang-on, call in the Definitions Committee, I thought this was an acoustic gig!) the evening swooped and soared through the Waterboys' back catalogue and previewed some fine new material. 'Dunderheid', the audience agreed, not being the best, but 'Strange Arrangement' and the ballad 'Live with me' (a brave choice for a final encore) certainly hit the spot.
'The return of Jimi Hendrix', 'Crown' (from the underrated Rock in a Weary Land), 'The Pan Within', and 'Peace of Iona' were just some of the highlights as crescendo followed crescendo (there were in truth probably a few too many crescendos) 'till we were eventually ejected onto the streets, a strange crew finding our way home through the drink-fuelled bankers of what was for them just another Friday night in Canary Wharf. But we'd been somewhere else. Memorable! - Nick Morgan
Thank you Nick. After 'Peace of Iona' that I already recommended on October 21., here's another excellent song by The Waterboys: The Return of Pan (mp3)

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