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Electric Picnic 2010 - The Waterboys

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ATL | 20:15 UK time, Friday, 3 September 2010

Main Stage, Friday 3rd September, 7.15pm

Describe in a tweet: Rabble rousing raggle-taggle renegades of folk.

What happened: If Bob Dylan had never discovered beat poetry, instead having been spoon-fed a diet of pagan mysticism, he might sound a lot like Mike Scott and The Waterboys. Their brand of epic, melodramatic folk rock (once termed "The Big Music", for fairly self-explanatory reasons) has never been particularly fashionable, but it has always connected directly with an audience, which is precisely what happens on the Main Stage tonight. A curious mix of old and young go absolutely jungle crazy for a run-through of some of the band's best known songs.

The sound is raw and aggressive, and Scott cuts an impressive figure, twirling and high-kicking his way across the stage. Some of these songs are over twenty years old, but they show no sign of revealing their age just yet. With a masterful control of both band and audience, Mike Scott is a lesson in the value of "paying your dues". Future singer-songwriters, take note.

Electric Dreams: Mike Scott's hair is a thing of wonder - full bodied, blowing in the wind, and conveying a sense of majesty. He's like Lord Byron with an electric guitar.

Ants at a picnic: After an unnecessary abrupt ending, the band return to the stage for an encore (Who'd have thunk it, eh?) and launch into 'Don't Bang the Drum', a song which is then plagued by equipment failures.

EP rating: 7/10


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