North east’s Waterboys fans being promised a piece of the action

The Sage Gateshead will be where the action is for the north east’s Waterboys fans in May.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 8:21 am
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 8:23 am
Mike Scott of the Waterboys at the 2014 Isle of Wight Festival. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

The folk-rock veterans return to the riverside venue on Wednesday, May 29, to promote their forthcoming 13th album.

Titled Where the Action Is, it’s being released on Friday, May 24, via Cooking Vinyl as a follow-up to 2017’s Out of All This Blue, a No 8 hit, their first top 10 entry since 1993.

Its name harks back to Robert Parker’s 1966 soul classic Let’s Go Baby (Where the Action Is), and the 10 tracks on its standard edition include two title tracks – Where the Action Is and Out of All This Blue, the latter having failed to make it onto the band’s last LP.

Their May tour will also stop off at Belfast, Bath, Hay-on-Wye, London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

The band, formed in Edinburgh in 1983, will be seven-strong this time round and will play two sets, with no support act. Joining vocalist and guitarist Mike Scott and fellow core members Steve Wickham on violin, Ralph Salmins on drums, Paul Brown on keyboards and Aongus Ralston, replacing David Hood on bass, will be backing singers Jess Kav and Zennie Summers.

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May’s show will be the Waterboys’ fifth at the Sage Gateshead, following previous visits in 2006, 2012, 2015 and 2017, plus a solo set by Scott, accompanied by Wickham, also in 2012.

Out of All This Blue is one of six Waterboys albums to have reached the top 20, the others being Modern Blues, a No 14 in 2015; 1990’s Room to Roam and 1993’s Dream Harder, both No 5s; the compilation The Best of the Waterboys 81–90, a No 2 in 1991, and Fisherman’s Blues, a No 13 in 1988.

They also have four top 40 singles to their name – the title track of Fisherman’s Blues, a No 32 in 1988; Glastonbury Song, a No 29, and The Return of Pan, a No 24, both in 1993; and The Whole of the Moon, a No 26 in 1985 and a No 3 when reissued in 1991.