Andrew Seraphin
The Wilbur Theatre

The Waterboys Come to The Wilbur

WHAT: On Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, The Waterboys are coming to The Wilbur in Boston’s historic Theatre District.

“People should expect the unexpected from The Waterboys,” says Mike Scott, a grin in his voice. It’s a mission statement which has inspired three decades of compelling musical shape-shifting, and one which yields thrilling results on The Waterboys’ magnificent eleventh album.

Recorded in Nashville, Modern Blues is an electric, eclectic, soulful, bold and gloriously freewheeling rock’n’roll record, arriving at a time when the relevance and popular reach of The Waterboys has never been greater. In 2013 Ellie Goulding scored a top 3 UK hit with their “How Long Will I Love You” and earlier this year Prince performed “The Whole of the Moon” solo at the piano during his Hit + Run show at Ronnie Scott’s in London, while the same song was performed by finalist Sally Barker on primetime BBC 1 show The Voice. In recent times “A Pagan Place” has become a live staple for hot US indie band The War on Drugs and Waterboys’ songs have been used in movies like About Time, Dom Hemingway and What We Did On Our Holiday.

Modern Blues contains nine more passionate songs, evoking the very best of The Waterboys past work while forging forth to explore new ground. Produced by Scott and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, the decision to record in the United States proved catalytic to its swaggering sound and spirit.
In true Waterboys’ style, a spirit of exploration defines the album. The gorgeous “November Tale” is a fluttering slice of Memphis soul, complete with swooping string arrangement and an authentically slinky guitar sound. “I wanted it to sound like Cornell Dupree,” says Scott, “that late 60s, sleazy soul guitar playing you’d hear on King Curtis records.”

The bubbling, soulful feel is bolstered by the appearance of Don Bryant, a veteran of Willie Mitchell’s Memphis soul crew and co-writer of the classic “I Can’t Stand the Rain”. Bryant adds falsetto vocals on “I Can See Elvis”, a beautiful, otherworldly glimpse of a celestial jam session featuring Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon and Charlie Parker – with John Lennon “doing handstands”. Part tribute, part redemptive vision, it comes garnished with playful doo-wops and a delicious pay-off line delivered by Scott in an idiosyncratic approximation of The King. As Scott says, with The Waterboys it’s always best to expect the unexpected.

Here comes Modern Blues, definitive evidence that The Waterboys are in the midst of a stunning purple patch. The scope of the album’s ambition is exemplified by its magnificent 10-minute closer, “Long Strange Golden Road”, already destined to become a Waterboys’ classic. A mythic quest-song encompassing Druid colleges, dim-lit motel rooms and the “bright-lit neon canyons” of Tokyo, it features walk-on cameos from Aphrodite, Venus and the ghost of Jack Kerouac’s Dean Moriarty. Along the way it also captures something of Scott’s own compelling journey: from post-punk seer, raggle-taggle roustabout and spiritual seeker to the mercurial spirit of today, full of fire and attack. “Keep the river on your right / And the highway at your shoulder,” he sings as the music roars around him. “And the front line in your sights / Pioneer.” Modern Blues is the glorious, inimitable sound of The Waterboys driving forward once again, stretching up and out to the higher ground.

For tickets and more information about The Wilbur and other great events visit

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 – 8:00 PM

COST: $30.00 – $50.00

WHERE: The Wilbur | 246 Tremont Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.248.9700

TICKETS: Visit, or call the box office at 617.248.9700

About The Wilbur:

Celebrating 100 years, The Wilbur, nestled in Boston’s historic Theatre District, is the premiere destination for comedy and music in Boston, MA. Built in 1914 by The Shubert Brothers, The Wilbur opened in 1915 and was named for The Shubert Theatre’s manager A.L. Wilbur. Recently revitalized by former Comedy Connection owner Bill Blumenreich in July of 2008, The Wilbur has become a first-class venue showcasing A-list comedians and musicians. A Comedy Central verified venue, the theater has attracted the best of the best in comedy including Aziz Ansari, Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Katt Williams and Jim Gaffigan. They also boast award-winning musicians from all genres such as Boyz II Men, Lauryn Hill, Lyle Lovitt and Smoky Robinson. Offering an intimate show setting, The Wilbur provides the perfect environment for enjoying comedy sensations and chart topping artists in the heart of Boston’s historic Theater District.
The Wilbur is located at 246 Tremont Street in Boston, MA. For more information, please visit, or call 617.248.9700.