Steve Wickham retires from touring with folk-rock band The Waterboys

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Read Steve Wickham’s full statement on his Waterboy’s departure below.

The Waterboys’ Steve Wickham announced a step back from touring with the classic Edinburgh-formed outfit.

After shooting with the group for nearly 21 years, the Irish fiddler has decided to “focus on his job” for the time being. Wickham will be back for future Waterboys projects but will not be part of the regular lineup.

Posting a statement on their website, the remaining members spoke of Wickham’s departure saying, “We wish him every success and look forward to when future Waterboys projects bring him back for more adventures.”

“We’ll keep you posted on what he does.”

In the same post, Wickham explained his reasons for leaving in his own words.

“The downtime during Covid has changed my life and my priorities. It’s reconnected me with my creativity, and I need to dig deeper into that.”

“In recent years I’ve become more of a Waterboys legacy musician, playing a big part in older music on stage but less in new music and recent albums,” he added. “I have therefore decided to step back from the Waterboys tour to focus on my own work and interests, which include my Sligo-based band, No Crows, my art studies, solo music, theatrical composition and things still to be worked out.”

“I still consider myself part of the Waterboys family and will return from time to time as projects call for it.”

Frontman Mike Scott expressed his gratitude for Wickham’s “continuing brotherhood”.

“Steve has been part of the heart and soul of the Waterboys for so long that it’s going to be strange working without him. But I know we’re not done yet; there will be more at some point, and that will be great. I’ve always enjoyed his extracurricular activities, so I can’t wait to see how they develop.”

Read the full statement below.

Wickham’s release comes just before the band release their latest LP, hill of all soulsApril 22.

The first two tracks removed from the disc – “The Liar” and the title track “All Souls Hill” – were accompanied by haunting collage visuals that played into the eerie “psychodramatic soundscape” of the Waterboys’ latest offering.

The nine tracks on the forthcoming album have been described as “current, about the social commentary of money, but with an air of hope”.

“The album is mysterious, otherworldly, impactful and moving.” Scott said. “I did it with Waterboys old and new and my co-producer, brilliant sound guru Simon Dine. His nine songs tell stories, explore dreamscapes and take a cold but hopeful look at human drama. “

The band have a few shows planned for this year, including an appearance at the Cornbury Festival in England on July 8 and a date in the Netherlands at Zuiderpark Live on May 25. These shows will presumably continue without Wickham.

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