Folk rock star Mike Scott, of Waterboys fame, said he has a big regret when he met David Bowie, his biggest musical inspiration.
Speaking ahead of an Acoustic Stage performance on Saturday night, Scott told Sky News that when confronted with his hero he said, “Hi Dave,” adding: “I’m a little cheeky. “.
He continued: “I remember him recommending that I listen to The Pixies, which was his favorite band at the time.
“I feel I know him, you see, I feel very familiar with him.
“He’s great. I wish I’d see him after one of my shows when he came to watch us play.
“He came to see us perform in New York in a theater just after 9/11. And someone said to me right before the concert started, ‘David Bowie is sitting at the table right out on the balcony. That’… The first few songs I suddenly thought about a lot.”
Inspired by Bowie, as well as Bob Dylan and The Beatles, Scott said the artists have impressed him with their transformative abilities:
He say: “[Bowie] changed from Ziggy Stardust, rock and roll to American youth, soul music and then changed again when he was doing records in Berlin.
“I love the fact that he’s going to change dramatically…and Dylan in the sixties and of course The Beatles, because the Beatles revolution was so spectacular.”
It is a possibility that The Waterboys have also developed, as they have done for many years. This is the 12th year at Worthy Farm for Scott’s Scottish-Irish rock and soul band, and the 15th performance (one year he says they have performed three shows, the other two).
However, Scott admitted he only met festival founder Michael Eavis “about half an hour ago”, adding: “But what a lovely man. And I have so much respect for him for keeping Glastonbury intact. integrity, don’t turn it into something corporate, don’t lose the soul of the event.”
Scott said the festival – which attracts 200,000 people a year – has achieved the seemingly impossible.
“They kept the original spirit of the festival. I remember in 1984, my first visit, it was very small, alternative, lawless and magical,” he said.
“It still has that, even though it’s huge, but they’ve found a way to let it grow while keeping the original spirit intact. It’s an amazing thing.”
Two years are particularly prominent in his mind: “I remember our 1986 performance. It was a powerful performance for us. We were a growing band and that was the moment. great when we played during tea time I think the first day, Friday, and it was a really explosive performance….
“But the best time I had at the festival was my first festival in 1984, when I stayed up all night and hung out, and did all the things that audiences do.”
An added bonus that year – find one of the festival’s legendary secret locations.
“We wandered around around 3 a.m. and we found a quaint farmhouse packed with people with an open bar and music playing… I looked for it and never found it again.
“It’s like Brigadoon, the magic village that only appears once every hundred years. I never found it again. I can’t even find it in the map.”
In 2007, Scott experienced a downpour in Glastonbury, describing the “ocean of darkness” they had to dispute.
He continued: “It was a mud bath. Everyone had to buy Wellington boots on the go. We were in London just before that and I remember there wasn’t a single pair of Wellington boots in London because everyone was in. (want to have them) for Glastonbury. Isn’t that fun? Somehow we got some.”
He said that was the year Shirley Bassey, who was playing Legend’s position, wore diamond-encrusted Wellington shoes to avoid sloppiness.
Although a fan of Glastonbury going back to basics, Scott doesn’t camp during his visits, preferring instead to stay in a hotel in Bristol.
“Camping isn’t me. No,” he admitted, then admitted: “I could have done the camping, because they have these nice tents with proper beds. And I can. do that.
“I like some carbonated water, some honey from the fruit. And I always ask for a jar of whole milk. That’s why – that’s so I can put it in muesli tomorrow morning. in my hotel.”
Home to Glastonbury Ranch, Worthy, Pilton Somerset is a dairy farm, which should be a simple requirement to meet.
After two years of forced abandonment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the band is releasing a new single inspired by the Glastonbury Fayre festival.
Co-written by band frontman Scott and multi-instrumentalist brother Paul, the track is a love letter to Glastonbury, documenting the band’s first performance in 1984 and every visit since then in a series of hilarious and revealing verses named Radiohead, Billy Bragg, Courtney Barnett and Glastonbury Tor.
Scott said his young daughter, who aspires to perform, is “proud” of him and he hopes to bring her along to the festival next year.
But far from Glastonbury, how did The Waterboys evolve, and more importantly survive, in the fickle world of commercial music?
Scott chose The Waterboys as his band’s name from a line in Lou Reed’s song The Kids from the Berlin album.
He explained: “I love the word Waterboys. I don’t know what it means. Of course now I know, it’s the guy who brings water to gangsters or sports people. And it’s an everyday word in America, but not here in the UK.”
As for the hit song The Whole Of The Moon, he said the rumors about the author CS Lewis or the late artist Prince were incorrect.
He said: “It’s really not either of them. It’s the kind of character that suddenly comes out with a shooting star, like the character Jimi Hendrix, and burns very quickly. Or it could be Syd Barrett, ca. Pink Floyd’s lead singer, who we’ve seen too much and are exhausted.”
The song hit number 26 in the chart in 1985 and number three in 1991 – a second chance after DJs playing it on the Balearic Islands.
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He said the song’s second success made him happy, as well as earning royalties when its new success led to increased radio plays.
One of the band’s other hits – 1988’s Fisherman’s Blues – marked a new direction in the Waterboys’ sound as it saw them transition from their previous epic “big music” material to Celtic folk influences. scaled down.
He says it’s his fondness for old country, gospel and acoustic music that has turned him away from so-called “loud music” which he says is the product of “a lot of people.” many songs were too much in the studio” and “very difficult. to reproduce in concert”.
He then decided to “cut it out”, developing a more “rock and roll sound” for the band. They have since developed a “more vibrant” sound, he said.
The Waterboys will be appearing at various festivals across the UK over the summer and their new album All Souls Hill is out now.