Mike Scott, who to all intents and

purposes is The Waterboys. has been

touted by the music press and those

in the know as ‘the next big thing‘ for

quite some time now— since 1979 in fact. So far he has not achieved the

mega-stardom so many have

predicted for him although he looks closer now to reaching real stardom

than he has ever done. With a wildly received 21/: hour gig at Leeds University Union behind him, he is virtually jumping out of his seat at the mention of his playing two nights with the Simple Minds at Ibrox. ‘Two nights - we‘re playing both

nights? Where did you hear that?‘ I tell him that is was in that morning‘s Daily Record. ‘That‘s brilliant. . . brilliant!‘ He punches the air ‘I fought for that! It‘s wonderful!‘ He‘s looking forward to it then. ‘Yeah, that‘s great news. We‘ll be on in the middle, compress the set into 45 minutes. do all the best stuff. That‘s just brilliant . . .‘ Although Scott is not yet a superstar. it doesn‘t mean that he‘s easy to see. My backstage pass never

' materialised and I‘ve spent what


age waiting for Mike who. lam

assured. ‘knows I‘m here and won‘t be long.‘ Eventually he appears. ‘Hullo, Graham. How are you doing?‘ It appears the road manager forgot to tell him I was waiting and that he is not the terrible prima donna l was beginning to think he had become.

We retire to a quiet room and while

I set up my tape recorder we chat about what we‘ve both been doing since we last met in 1980. Then, Scott

‘I‘m not too wise‘

and his band had just parted company with Virgin Records with whom they had had a short. unhappy relationship. ‘They thought they could control me and tell me what to do.‘ he told me. ‘and I wasn‘t going to let them.‘ Since then he has formed The Waterboys. found a more tolerant record label. released two critically acclaimed albums and moved to Dublin. ‘1 went there to get away from all the pressures I was getting. I liked it and decided to stay, even though I had nowhere to live for three months.‘ I So, how does it feel to be tipped for stardom for so long without becoming a truly major act. does he ever get frustrated that fame hasn‘t come more quickly? ‘No.‘ he said thoughtfully. ‘every year progress is made and on every tour we play to more people. I‘m glad to see it

June. Graham Caldwell trav

s. 'f

building, I know it‘s slow, but it‘s at a pace I‘m happy with.‘ It‘s obviously something he has considered and feels is going the way he wants. ‘I don‘t want to shoot anywhere too

' quickly,‘ he explains, ‘because I‘m not too wise and I’ve made mistakes I haven‘t gone crazy trying to get hit singles or done what I‘ve been told by the record companies. So. I think that when success does come in a big way, as I‘m sure it will, it will come according to the rules I‘ve laid down it‘ll be the right kind ofsuccess.‘ For all that, there must have been times when he thought he wasn‘t going to make it and was ready for

had it with The Waterboys. with the line up we took on the road two or three months ago, so they didn‘t go on the road again.‘

The current line up certainly sounds impressive and Scott now looks though he is genuinely

dour character

enjoying himselfon stage.

something he didn‘t always appear to be doing: he looked a rather dour character at times

‘That‘s because I‘ve stopped playing with the people with whom I had a dourtime.‘

This sounds like the kind of talk

' ,4' s‘n C

. ~"o‘ x.- 0,

which has given him a reputation among musicians as being something of a perfectionist and rather hard on his band. ‘l‘ve got through a lot of musicians.‘ he agrees, ‘but I haven‘t used them up, they‘ve had lives after me. I‘ve maybe got a reputation for

‘around before hippies‘

being stubborn in the music business.‘ he says. referring to my question. ‘and you‘ll find that a lot of people who go as far as I hope The Waterboys will. leave a trail of

; people who don‘t go with them . . . giving it all up? ‘I‘ve had that feeling, ; that we‘re not gettinganywhere. l‘ye T the street in 1976 and told me to rush across to our local record shop and buy this great new single called

remember Pete Best?‘ For someone who stopped me in

‘Anarchy in the UK‘, to be called a ‘hippy‘ by some people, seems strange, although Scott‘s constant references to the moon, rivers, elements and his environmental attitudes may suggest that. ‘The moon and elements were around before hippies and they‘re very beautiful, so there‘s no harm in putting them into songs‘. And what about his current support of Greenpeace? ‘Greenpeace is a very good organisation. one with a future Ithink. It‘s not that I‘m into it heavily, but I care about it, everybody should‘

lst‘ om .i'issi‘i'rii

IKE soon AND THE wmaovs


Head Waterboy Mike Scott comes home to support Simple Minds at their two Ibrox concerts on 6 and 7 elled to Yorkshire to meet the man tipped for the tOp.

Although he has not got the reputation of being a political songwriter, his song ‘When Old England Dies‘, contains the lines ‘when Thatcher lies and Neil Kinnock fumbles‘. ‘Why say

_ anything in one word when you can

§ say it in ten that‘s his motto. I‘m ; sure he‘s a lovely guy and well J intentioned, but he talks too much.‘

No thought ofjoining in with Red Wedge then? ‘I think it‘s very good hearted, positive and caring which is

good. I wouldn‘t do it myself because _

it‘s allied to party politics and I think that‘s part of the past rather than the

2 future. People competing against

each other is bullshit. Live Aid showed what can be done when you co-operate.‘

IfMike Scott is accused of being nothing more than a hippy, then it must come from his attitudes rather than his music. His immediate

5 influences are obvious: Bowie, Iggy I Pop, Velvet Underground, Bruce

Springsteen, but lately he has widened his sphere of musical influence. ‘Ive got into listening to Cajun records and country and gospel records. When the band gets together at each other‘s houses with acoustic instruments we play that kind of stuff and we decided we didn‘t want to play it just in bedrooms. we wanted to play it onstage.‘

‘like old friends‘

Live. The Waterboys are both powerful and melodic, turning the Leeds audience into a sweaty, appreciative, sodden mass. The 2% hour concert shows the band in a better light than do records and it is live performances that Scott likes


best. ‘I love it, but not for myself, not

to fan my ego. I get a big thrill hearing people sing along to my songs. It means they love the songs and I love them too it makes you like old friends.‘ On the current tour they have been playing what might appear strange cover versions. Tonight they performed ‘Can‘t Help

Fallin in Love With You‘ and ‘Purple Rain‘. ‘We just play what we feel like 3

playing. Sometimes we play ‘My Generation‘ or ‘Garageland‘ or ‘Blowing in the Wind‘ whatever we feel like.‘

Ifhe doesn‘t make it: if his promise and the forecasts of the music biz don‘t come off, will he ever consider giving it all up? ‘I have felt like that, but I‘ll do what my instincts tell me. If they say “go and write a book“ then that‘s what I‘ll do. But all I want to do is play music.‘

amaze May— 12 June 7