☀ Room To Roam ☀

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  2. Welcome to the Room To Roam Page. This Page contains some background to the creation of the album and a round-up of the various vinyl, CD pressings, promos, cassettes, merchandise and memorabilia relating to the Room To Roam album and tour.

    This page also covers the various releases surrounding the compilation 'The Best Of '81 - '90' which was released worldwide on five formats in late April 1991.

    Thank you to: Simon Fowler, Colin Blakey, Audrey Bridgeman, Annie West, Andy Pritchatt, Dag Reinert Johansen, Sharon Shannon, Véronique Castellanos, Dave Furneaux, Harry Schets, Paul Murphy, Colin Eales, Stephen Charlton and John Trautt for contributing to this web page.


    * If you happen to have a piece of 'Room To Roam' era memorabilia that is not shown here, please send a photo on and it shall be added. *



    This extensive Page is split into several sections for quick and easy access.

    **Click on any Heading Title below to go to that section** .....



    Fisherman's Blues/Room To Roam Tour - June to December 1989

    A brief overview of the Fisherman's Blues / Room To Roam tour.


    Colin Blakey

    An interview with Colin Blakey.


    Album Artwork

    Artwork by designer Annie West.


    Recording Room To Roam

    A very brief overview of the album creation.


    The Room To Roam Tour - August to December 1990

    A brief overview of the Room To Roam tour.


    Huntly, Aberdeenshire Project 2008

    Mike and Steve with the Huntly 'Room To Roam' band.


    Remembering Noel Bridgeman - The 1989 Band Reunited

    A report from this special once-off concert.


    Audrey Bridgeman

    A chat with Audrey.


    Room To Roam Releases

    Here you will find various worldwide releases and promo's in all formats.

    Room To Roam LP

    Room To Roam Tape

    Room To Roam CD


    The Magnificent Seven Box Set 2021

    Superb Five CD + One DVD & Book box set released in 2021.


    The Green Box

    Rare Promotional Box Set.


    The Singles:

    A varied selection of worldwide releases in all formats.

    How Long Will I Love You

    A Man Is In Love

    The Whole Of The Moon 1991

    Fisherman's Blues 1991

    Tomás MacEoin Single


    Best Of '81-'90 Compilation

    A selection of worldwide releases in all formats.

    Best Of '81-'90 LP

    Best Of '81-'90 Tape

    Best Of '81-'90 CD


    Memorabilia & Merchandise

    A selection original Room To Roam memorabilia and merchandise from the tour.






    Fisherman's Blues/Room To Roam Tour 1989

    A brief overview of the Fisherman's Blues / Room To Roam tour from June to December 1989.

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  4. After a week of rehearsals in Temple Bar, Dublin and in the Top Hat, Dun Laoghaire, The Magnificent Seven band, consisting of Mike, Anto, Steve, Trevor, Noel, Colin and Sharon, kicked off their shows together in Wexford, Ireland on June 9th

    By the time they headlined the Glastonbury Pyramid Stage on June 18th, the band had five shows under their collective belts before they returned to Ireland for a special show in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin and a sold-out four-night stand in the Olympia theatre.


    Tomás MacEoin joined the band on nine occasions between June and December at a number of shows in Ireland and the UK and at one show in Lorient, Brittany, France on August 6th. He sang two songs: Bleann Na Bó and The Stolen Child. On one occasion, in Ulster Hall, Belfast on December 28th, he sang three songs which included An Cailín Alainn.

    Between July and early early October they played various festival dates around Europe and a few more shows in Ireland.

    An extensive Canada and USA tour followed through October and into November.

    As the tour progressed, quite a number of the new songs appeared in the ever-evolving sets, with some performed more times than others. The songs included: Song For The Life, In Search Of A Rose, Room To Roam, My Morag (The Exile's Dream), Raggle Taggle Gypsy, Danny Murphy, Further Up,Further In, How Long Will I Love You?, A Man Is In Love, Something That Is Gone, The Trip To Broadford and Natural Bridge Blues.

    In late November and through December they played shows in Italy, Norway, Sweden and a string of Irish shows before finishing the year, and the tour, with a two-night stand in the Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow on December 30th and 31st. The septet played a grand total of sixty four shows in 1989.

    Pictured below are (i) Four Tour Itinerary Covers from June, July, November and December 1989. (ii) The Waterboys Tour Party details. (iii) The start and the end dates of the tour for the Magnificent Seven band. Thank you Audrey.

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  8. ☄ Trio of Band & Crew Laminates 1989 ☄

    Three band All Access laminates from the 1989 Tour.

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  10. ☄ Barrowland Ballroom - All Access Passes 1989 ☄

    The Magnificent Seven band played their final two shows in the Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow on December 30th and 31st 1989. These are two All Access passes from these legendary gigs.

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  12. ☄ On The Road 1989 ☄

    Mike, Sharon and Steve, somewhere on the road in 1989. Thank you Colin.

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  14. Colin Blakey

    Colin Blakey needs no introduction here and it was a real joy to have a good chat with him.

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  16. J: So Colin, how did you hook up with Mike?

    Colin: 'It was through Joe Kingman and We Free Kings in 1986 and I'd just joined up. I'd been up in Ullapool in north west Scotland making boats in a boatyard there.

    'Then I came back to Edinburgh and some of my old friends were in this band called We Free Kings and they were getting gigs and touring around playing festivals and I was really jealous. I was doing a craft stall down in the Grass Market as part of the Edinburgh Festival and they were busking. I was at the craft stall and I had a tin whistle with me and by the time I heard their set twice I thought I'll go and see if I can join in. They were just busking so I joined in and they asked me to go and play a gig with them that night in Edinburgh and I did another couple of things with them as well. Then they said 'We're off to Ireland, we need a whistle player, will you come with us?'


    'So I said 'Yeah!' [Laughs] So we were travelling over there and I said 'So where are we going to stay, you know?' 'Oh camping mostly' was the reply. Because that's the way we did it. We were the original Raggle Taggle Gypsies travelling around camping. So we did the whole tour under canvas except when we went to Dublin'.

    'Again I asked 'Where are we going to stay?' 'Oh we are going to stay with Mike Scott'. I didn't know anything about anybody and I said 'Who is that?' And Joe said 'He's a friend I used to live with in London. He's got a band called The Waterboys'. And of course, I'd heard of them'.

    'It was great, we just went straight into this hub of musicians. You know Mike is Mike, he knows so many people and meets so many many people, so we were just hanging out with Mike and Steve in Dublin. And then they came on tour with us when we were in Ireland and joined us for a couple of numbers at the end of the set which was brilliant because their presence kind of lifted the whole thing'.

    'And then I went back to Edinburgh and I got a call a few months later. Mike called up and said: 'We're doing a new record [Fisherman's Blues] and would you like to come over to Windmill Lane [Recording Studio] where we're putting down some new tracks and play with us. We are recording some new songs'. So I went over and that's where we did some stuff for the first side of Fisherman's Blues. That's when I did Strange Boat and another couple of things that never appeared on that album'.

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  18. 'But then soon after, I was back in Ireland touring with We Free Kings but just touring ourselves this time, without Mike and Steve gracing us with their presence. Then I got a call saying that we're out in Spiddal, will you come by and do some stuff there'.

    'That's where I did The Stolen Child and Has Anybody Here Seen Hank? That was fantastic! A great experience! So that's how I got to know them'.

    'Then Fisherman's Blues came out and I got a call from a friend in Edinburgh who told me that album is out and your picture is on the cover! And I was like: 'How did that happen?' Then I remembered that when I was over in Spiddal that's when the picture was taken and that's what was used for the cover'.

    'Mike appeared at my door about a month later, and said we're going to tour the album to promote it, will you be in the touring band? So I said 'Yeah' because I'd left We Free Kings by then'.



    'I'd also just put my own album out: The Roke'.

    J: It's a brilliant album. I was with Steve the other day and he said he loves The Roke record.

    Colin: 'Yeah I've remastered and released it under Colin Blakey and The Clan on all the streaming platforms now'.



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  20. You can check out Colin's Bandcamp Page below:

    'The Roke' - Colin Blakey and The Clan - Please Click Here







    Colin: 'I’ve also released two albums of my own stuff since then, under the 'Orchestra Macaroon' banner: 'Breakfast in Balquhidder' and 'Hong Kong to Sligo''.

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  22. You can find both Orchestra Macaroon albums on the Bandcamp Page below:

    Please Click Here






    J: Yes, I have both of the Orchestra Macaroon albums here!


    J: So, then you hooked up with the band for the first tour dates in December 1988?

    Colin: 'Yeah I was in the touring band. It was the core band of Mike, Trevor, Anto, Steve and then there was whoever was drumming at the time and myself, and eventually Sharon, as kind of, on a retainer by the record company, as the next level out if you like, from the core of the band. That worked quite well actually'.

    'But then we did Glastonbury [18th June 1989] and we'd been recording songs for what would be Room To Roam and that whole thing was bubbling up. So after we did the Glastonbury gig Mike asked us; me, Sharon and Noel 'would you like to join the band? and we'll be a band of seven'. That was The Magnificent Seven as Noel called it memorably'. [Smiles]

    'Mike actually asked us just after Glastonbury and that's when the band became officially that form. There were always different drummers before that, with Fran Breen and Jay Dee Doherty, a great drummer, great drummer. You know, I was crazy about Patti Smith when I was in my teens and to get to play with someone who played with her was just woah!'

    'So that's the story about how I came into that world'.


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  24. J: The whole Glastonbury trip must have been amazing.

    Colin: 'There was a fire around the back of the backstage area and there were lots of people there. The Hothouse Flowers were all there of course and we were all jamming together. Fergal Sharkey was wandering through. Donovan was there. It was quite a melting pot of interesting people!' [Laughs]

    'But yeah I do remember coming in to the festival, I have a tape of it somewhere, we all had these recording walkmans so I used to record stuff. But it was [Steve] Cooney and [Seamus] Begley and all of us driving in from Glastonbury town where we were staying in a hotel. We came in through the side and we had the doors open in the van driving past all these people. You know what Glastonbury is like, people really make an effort and it looked amazing. The sun was splitting the stones and our music is wafting out of the van as we're driving to the stage area and there's music from other stages and people jamming in wee tents and stuff. So that's Glastonbury and it's just great!'

    'I remember going to Glastonbury for the first time. I went with my friends from Edinburgh in 1980. And I was going there as a punter. I was really enjoying it and looking at the Pyramid thinking to myself, I wonder, how on earth do you get to play up there? Never in a month of Sundays! Not knowing that nine years later we'd be doing just that. It's kind of like, you're stepping out in front of tens of thousands of people, just a sea in front of you. Quite a buzz really'.

    'Quite a buzz and you just kind of think; Right, I've got a job to do, just keep the head down and do what I'm supposed to be doing and think about it later and don't let it get to you.

    'And just hope that Mike can shoulder the energy and that's what he is great at. He can be the conduit for that kind of energy and in that respect, I think he's a genius. We see it time and again don't we, in different contexts, he can do that'.

    J: He certainly can! You then came back to Dublin and played in Mountjoy Prison. What was it like to play in there?

    Colin: 'Well, it certainly persuaded me to never ever go to jail! [Laughs] Everyone we met was so nice but all the time on the way in, doors clanking open and slamming shut behind you and security. You just think: 'Oh this is serious, this place, you don't ever want to be in here', except maybe to play again'.

    'But the actual gig, I think it was the first time that Sharon had played with us. You can imagine for her, she's such a formidable musician. She worked her way into the songs and came up with her own lines and did it really well'.

    'But there we were, on a stage with a simple PA system, John Dunford and Jimmy Hickey were there doing the sound and sorting out and Jimmy doing his side stage stuff. But the audience was just full of the inmates and Sharon is like the only woman in the room and they are all looking at her. She handled it really well I have to say, but there was a vibe there you know. Young woman, mens prison, like woah! But they were very respectful and enjoyed the show and halfway through a great cheer went up. But it wasn't for us, it was because Adam Clayton walked in. He had been doing quite a lot of work in the prison and he came in to watch the show. He watched it from the back and the boys all recognised him and gave him a big cheer and that was cool'.

    J: Then you played a four-night stand in the Olympia. [Dublin]

    'Aye, that was good fun. I mean we had a lot of guests and people playing with us. You know, sometimes a wee bit of a vibe. I think that when you get a lot of different energies joining you onstage you have to modify how you are and make space for it. Sometimes that works , other times it doesn't work so well. It was a good idea to have a kind of a short residency like that I suppose and try a few things out. The sessions afterwards were very good though'.[Laughs]

    'They are sometimes the best parts of doing the gigs. The sessions surrounding them. A lot of creative stuff happened around those sessions, of course'.

    'Our tour manager at the time, Harry Isles said to us that we made any other band he worked with seem very uninterested in music: with other bands he'd worked with, as soon as the gig finished the instruments went in to the flight cases and off to the next gig and the band went off to enjoy themselves and party or whatever. But with us, the fiddles etc. would generally stay out and after we’d had a few minutes in the dressing room we'd usually greet all these people who had come to see us play and they'd be all outside waiting with their own instruments, [Laughs] so we'd find somewhere and get a tune going. And that happened quite a lot of times. It was a great way to meet people and make contacts'.

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    ☄ Greenpeace - San Francisco ☄

    The band played a two-night stand in The Warfield, San Francisco in early November 1989. While on a day off, the Magnificent Seven went sailing around San Francisco Bay with Greenpeace. Thank you Colin.

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    J: But you had some free time between shows to go exploring or whatever?

    'Oh aye. Like in the States we'd do maybe two or three nights in one venue. Mike was very clever that way, rather than doing one night in a big venue and moving on, do two or three nights in a smaller venue. I don't mean small small, I mean a thousand seater or something like that. You got time the next day because you're not moving on'.

    'Steve and I went to Native American Cultural Centres and shops because we were both interested in that at the time. And we would arrange to meet people we met the night before, like players, so that was good. It was so much part of the band at that time, the extracurricular playing. Does that make sense?' [Smiles]

    J: It does. It sounds like a great idea to play a residency as opposed to a one-night stand and having to up sticks at cockcrow and make tracks to the next stop?

    Colin: 'Och, I don't know how other bands do it, you're just in this mono culture of one night, one night etc. Because hotels, lets face it, are the same the world over, as are shopping malls and venues. And the stage is always set up the same way because the crew do that to make it easier for them and for us. Also, usually you'd have caterers who'd come with you and the food would be excellent but much the same. So you're in a bubble'.

    'I mean you'd be crazy if you were in New York and not go out to get a taste of the ambience there and go to some of the crazy shops'.

    'In LA I spent an afternoon with BP Fallon and Donovan and they took me around all these Head shops and esoteric book shops that had emerged in the sixties, and that was great fun!'

    J: I'll bet it was! A number of new songs that would later appear on Room To Roam made their way into the sets on the tour?

    Colin: 'Yeah. We'd use sound checks for rehearsals...a lot! Mike would say: 'I've got a new song', he was always working on stuff, he had his notebooks with him and his recording walkman. He'd say: 'Let's try it' and he'd strum the chords through and we'd pick it up and we just tried it in the afternoon at the soundcheck and played it at the gig'. [Smiles]

    J: Were any of the new songs tricky to play?

    Colin: 'Well, Room to Roam [the song] took a little bit more work because it's kind of a cranky time signature and the feel is, well it's a very odd song that. I think it's really good, I didn't like it much at the time but listening back to it now I really like it. It reminds me of German Oompah music. My folks played in an Oompah band in Scotland! [Laughs] And it seemed like the most uncool thing to do because you don't ever want to do what your parents do. Listening back to it now with that crazy fiddle thing that Steve did, a beautiful kind of psychedelic fairground sound that he got, it is really good'.

    'But yeah, we did rehearse a lot of stuff on the road and bring it into the sets. You have to do that because if you're recording a song that's never been played live, it's possible to do but it's very manufactured. Like, a song doesn't really take wings unless it's been played 'live'. That was a problem I had with the last album I did, you know, the Hong Kong to Sligo album. Some of the tunes I've certainly played live and they're the ones that came alive when I was recording them. And the way it was recorded was everyone doing their own bits, literally, from Hong Kong to Sligo because we were in lockdown. I've not put an orchestra together to go out and play those songs since we emerged from then. I think there's a difference in the spirit of the music if it's been gigged'. [Smiles]

    'Having said all that, on Fisherman's Blues a lot of the album was recorded that way because the band wasn't gigging really, they were hardly doing anything live, so a lot was recorded that way'.

    'The Stolen Child for example, just came together in Spiddal House. Mike had this idea of the song - a chord sequence and a way of using Yeats’ poem as a lyric, so we had the poem and my flute parts for that just came out. I was listening to the recording and I was really taken with the piece and the flute parts just appeared under my fingers. [mimes playing] I didn't sit and score it or anything like that. [Laughs] It just sort of emerged, you know. And of course, that was never gigged before we released the record'.

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  28. 'So yeah, maybe there are times when it's OK to do that but yes a lot of the stuff on Room To Roam had been gigged live beforehand. I think the process of playing the new songs can actually change the arrangement because you kind of know what works and what doesn't then'.

    J: You know, Audrey [Bridgeman] asked me recently: 'What were they like back then? And I said that you sounded incredibly tight, seven extremely gifted musicians but who played like a single entity.

    'We were really a band when we were recording Room To Roam in Spiddal. It was a band. It wasn't like a core with extra session musicians being retained by the record company. We were that core entity'.

    [Laughs] 'It was quite a tough job for Mike, balancing that group of creative personalities! [Laughs] Like, keeping it all...you know. Sharon was so full of music and so curious, just exploding in all directions with her imagination, about all the directions she subsequently went to. And Steve was also probably looking in different directions at the same time, you know. As I was, a bit as well. All stuff that we brought in [to the band] but sometimes that takes your attention out as well. Mike was trying to encompass all this and it's no easy job. And it proved to be impossible at the end. But that's later history of course'.

     
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  30. 'But while we were in Spiddal it was a melting pot of ideas. You could go from quite hard heavy sounds of something like A Life Of Sundays to quite whimsical stuff like Spring Comes To Spiddal. There seemed to be no conflict of doing that because it was all part of our experience musically. The whimsy was as much part of it as the more gritty rocknroll attitudes, which we all shared as well, of course'.


     

    J: I was amazed when I saw you playing, with all those instruments blending together, like you were collectively weaving a tapestry or something.

    Colin: 'I think the band were really playing together as a unit yeah. You kind of know what you were doing, in terms of finding a line. By that I mean, I know you're not a musician, but you can understand that if you're the guitarist in a band you know which chords to play, that's fine, you just play the chords. But if you're a single line instrument which only plays one note at a time, like I was playing flute, Sharon was playing an accordion, Steve was playing the fiddle and Anto was playing saxophone or mandolin and using a single line on that. So, that's four single lines, all trying not to play the same as each other but to bind with the chords that Mike is laying down in the song. Trevor is playing bass and that's a different job because it's halfway to the drums. It's rhythm underpinning the chords. But the four of us doing the higher pitched instruments you have to find your own lines there and we didn't do it consciously or even talk about it. That was the thing, we seemed to know how to keep out of each others way. But to complement each other and support each other and that's what that Magnificent Seven was magnificent at I think. [Smiles] We had a really good way of doing it'.

    'Also, we tried to record live, a lot! The producer Barry Beckett, he wanted to get the stuff down separate for flexability with correcting and changing arrangements and stuff like that. So Mike's compromise was to get the rhythm, a guide vocal, the bass and the drums first. Then after that Sharon and Anto and Steve and myself would go and overdub the other stuff. We would generally do that together. the top line instruments. But we'd do it together so we had that feel, that magic even if we had to record in two teams. There was always that scope for interplay. Do you understand what I'm saying?' [Smiles]

    J: I do. You explained it brilliantly.

    Colin: 'Although there were hints of the difficulties ahead, at the time of the recording process and Mike was sometimes perhaps struggling to keep the whole thing, you know...[makes bowl shape with hands] He was dealing with, as I said earlier, he was dealing with seven very creative, slightly nutty individuals. I don't know how he did it in the first place'. [Laughs]

    'But having said that, a lot of good stuff came out. I think we were a pretty good live band. I listened back to the Magnifient Seven recordings and the thing I really like about it...I made myself a playlist with just all of the live tracks from it and that really works like a big long live album I think. Have you done that?'

    J: I've burned compilation discs of live stuff and some brilliant outtakes.

    Colin: 'Just take the live stuff that was done in front of audiences, I mean right across [sweeping hand motion]. I mean there's Europe and Ireland, the UK and America and that's a really good experience. Tell people to do that! [Laughs] It's a good treat'.

    'Because the band is revealed by those recordings. There's some quite robust renditions compared to what was recorded eventually or previously. That stuff that was done live from Fisherman's has more of a kapow!, a bit more power to it, a bit more energy. I think the recording process in the studio, neccesarily, slightly sanitises things. You know, it's very clean and very lovely and everything sounds beautiful but that kind of edge you get live is there on those live recordings and the band really had that for a while'. [Smiles]

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  32. J: Is there any particular song that you worked up from scratch in Spiddal House?

    Colin: 'Oh A Life Of Sundays. Mike just appeared with that one day. We were kind of ..It was like coming back a bit from the Celtic twilight. [Smiles] It was quite nice to come back more into a rock idiom. I was encouraged to be a bit psychedelic with my flute which was great fun. [Smiles] We did that dueling solo at the end with Mike which was fun to do. I did the flute first then he put some guitar on in response to that and you end up with this big mishmash'.

     

    'So that all happened, a lot of the songs we had been doing live before that like Further Up, Further In and Raggle Taggle Gypsy of course which incidently, The Waterboys got from We Free Kings. As you know, it's a really old song and we'd been playing it live as we had the Planxty album it was on, playing in the van and we started just doing it. When Mike and Steve joined us on that tour in Ireland, they picked up on it then. Then with the Waterboys Mike said 'Let's try it' and of course it works really well. I think any band playing that song will have a great time playing it. [Smiles] It's superb! I think it's hard to beat the Planxty version, arguably'.

    'It was a good process. I have very fond memories of recording Room To Roam and the process leading up to it and the birth of the songs'.

    J: Are there any Room To Roam songs that are your favourites?

    Colin: 'A Man is in Love, A Life of Sundays, Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Further Up, Further In are my faves'.

    J: The Concert for Noel in the Olympia [4th May 2023] was absolutely brilliant!:

    Colin: 'I should have been at that'.

    J: I know. Ah I'm sure you will get another opportunity to play with them all again.

    Colin: 'I hope so, I do hope so. I was scunnered because I've never played A Life of Sundays live and I was really looking forward to doing that. I had gotten a new pick up for my flute and I got all my effects pedals out because of the big flute thing at the end and unfortunately it didn't happen'.

    'You know, the last time I played with them was in The Barrowlands in Glasgow a couple of years ago'.[30th October 2021]

    J: I was there!

    Colin: 'You were there? That's right you were there! I was quite taken with the second set because it went into a different zone altogether. It was more rocking. Quite a lot of repetition and riffing and going round and it seemed to build up a nice sort of trancy vibe in the place. It was like breaking through barriers all the time, smashing them'.

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  34. J: That was a real thrill to see you there. It was a huge surprise!

    Colin: 'It was for me too! [Laughs] I was just supposed to be out for the first bit [Islandman]. You know the laugh is, Mike said: 'Come on for the encore, you know And A Bang on The Ear plus we'll be doing this wee tune at the end: Banish Misfortune'. A little bit of a jig at the end'.

    'That was fine and I listened to the song in the dressing room because I hadn't played it in like thirty years or something. So I listened to it and made sure I knew the chords and when I sat down at the piano and I played the first fours bars, I looked over at Brother Paul and he was looking over at me, crying with laughter because what had happened was, Mike had been playing the piano just before me and he had the transpose button on for The Whole Of The Moon. He transposes the piano down now; down two semitones for his voice because it's not as high as it used to be, at least not that night. So everything I was playing was a whole tone out! It sounded like jazz for the first few notes!' [Laughs]

    'You probably saw it, but luckily one of the crew darted out, pressed the button and reset it and it was fine. He was totally on it. But Wow! It was really really good. But of course then, by the end of that song I realised that the whistle I had was in the wrong key because I'd forgotten that Mike had said to change the key so when I was playing I was figuring out how to transpose it on the whistle when it came to playing the tune at the end and I managed to do that'.

    J: It was a fantastic night! I remember when Mike introduced you after Islandman he referred to you as a 'Golden Waterboy'...

    Colin: 'Maybe that’s because at this stage of the game, we’re all pretty close to our Golden Years!' [Laughs]

    J: 'Do you remember the photoshoot for the album sleeve at the Funfair in Tramore, County Waterford?

    Colin: 'I do remember feeling quite woozy after being on the waltzers…. It is a great pity that The Magnificent Seven band never promoted the Room to Roam album through live gigs together, after it was released. But in some way the album has stood the test of time!'

    J: It certainly has! Well, thanks very much for the chat Colin. I hope you enjoyed it.

    Colin: 'I did. It's lovely to hear your voice. It's great to go back, how many years? Thirty three years! Gosh! It's a long time, a long time. We're not getting any younger man! Keep in touch James. All the best!'





    Album Artwork

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  36. Annie West was commisioned to design the album sleeve. Upon hearing the Room To Roam song, it conjured up Funfair imagery in her mind. Mike liked the idea.

    The plan was to find an open funfair and arrange a photo shoot but that feat, in 1990, was no easy task to achieve. So, after some frantic searching, a working waltzer was found in an amusement park in Tramore, County Waterford, Ireland.

    Annie, renowned designer John Pasche, ace photographer Simon Fowler and all seven members of the band would spend a day shooting lots of photos, most of which were on the waltzer.

    The photo shown is Annie's initial mock up or concept of the album cover sleeve.


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  38. wbs _rtr_backcover_shot
  39. For the back cover Annie had the inspired idea to capture a photo of all of the band members peeping out and smiling from around the corner of the Ghost Train wall, with just their heads on show. The resulting photo above (flipped sideways) shows the band 'looking out' from the LP sleeve.

    As can be clearly seen in the second photo, this pose was achieved by some great ingenuity, and some considerable contortional skills, by the band members. Thank you Annie.





    Recording Room To Roam

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  41. Initially, Mike, Trevor and Noel recorded some demos in early January 1990 in Dublin.

    In early Febuary the Magnificent Seven again assembled to begin recording sessions for what was to become Room To Roam in the mighty Spiddal House in Spiddal, County Galway.

    The band recorded through February and March. Then resumed in April and May for overdubbing, mixing and more recording.

    The album was finished and ready for final mixing by early June.

     

    As we now know, the band recorded a lot of material, some of which came out the the 2CD remaster in 2008. Then a treasure trove of songs, including studio recordings, live recordings and demos, spread across five CDs & a DVD, was released as The Magnificent Seven boxset in 2021.

    The original 17 track Room To Roam LP was released in Ireland on the 17th September and released worldwide on 2nd October 1990.

    * A very extensive, and very vivid, first-hand account by Mike about the recording sessions can be found in The Magnificent Seven book.






    The Room To Roam Tour 1990

    A brief overview of the Room To Roam tour from August to December 1990.

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  43. The slimmed down four-piece band, consisting of Mike, Anto, Trevor and Ken Blevins on drums, kicked off their shows together in Sweden on the 11th August. With the departure of Noel, Steve, Colin and Sharon, the shows were more Rock 'n' Roll than Trad.

    But several Room To Roam songs made appearances in the sets including: In Search Of A Rose, Bigger Picture, A Life Of Sundays, Something That Is Gone, A Man Is In Love, The Star and the Sea, Spring Comes to Spiddal, Islandman, This Old Boat, Song From The End Of the World and Room To Roam. A wild outing of Everything Is Broken (Bob Dylan) also became a regular fixture.

    Between August and early November they played numerous shows in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and several more dates across Europe. Sharon guested at some of the August Irish shows. In September The Kick Horns, featuring Roddy Lorimer, played four UK dates with the quartet.

    In November until the middle of December they embarked on an extensive tour of the USA along with a few dates in Canada. The Kick Horns, joined the band again for a lot of the US/Canada dates and for the final Irish tour dates.

    On the 26th of December, they embarked on a short five-date Irish tour in Dublin, taking in Longford, Belfast and Cork and playing their last show in Galway on New Years Eve. Sharon also guested at this final show. This would be the last Waterboys concert for ten years. The quartet played a grand total of sixty five shows on the 1990 tour.




    ☄ Room To Roam Tour Laminates & Ticket 1990 ☄

    Two original band and crew Tour Laminates from 1990 and a Dublin concert ticket.

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  45. Huntly, Aberdeenshire Project 2008

    Jacques Coetzer, a South African artist was involved with the 'rebranding' of Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 2008.

    Music and poetry was central to the 'rebranding' project after Jacques discovered the link between George MacDonald (a Victorian writer from Huntly) and The Waterboys; Jacques decided to make Room to Roam, one of MacDonald’s poems, as well as the title and title track of the Waterboys album, the main theme for the project.

    Jacques invited Mike to rehearse his tune with local musicians, appropriating Room to Roam as Huntly’s new anthem. Mike accepted the invitation. Accompanied by Steve and local musicians, he played in the town square on 1st June 2008 and performed Room To Roam twice!

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  47. An actual Huntly postcard from the town is shown below. Thank you David.

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  49. Remembering Noel Bridgeman 2023

    When this special concert was announced it caused a flurry of excitement among lifelong Water People who just could not pass up the chance to see the 1989 line-up reforming for this once-off appearance together. So, several friends had flown in from Norway, New York, Boston, Scotland, England and one friend came all the way from Australia. Another person who introduced themselves in the venue, said he had flown over from Japan.

    A host of Irish musicians were also confirmed, including Mary Black, Mary Coughlan, Mary Stokes, Rob Strong, Mik Pyro and Brush Shiels as well as a very rare appearance by Colm Wilkinson. If that wasn't enough we got an unannounced surprise performance by Donovan and BP Fallon.

    The house band for these performers included many of Noel's on stage comrades including James Delaney, Garvan Gallagher, Gerry Hendrick, Tommy Moore, Ed Deane, Lee Meehan, Brian Harris, Richie Buckley, Kevin Malone and many others. The comperes for the evening were Audrey Bridgeman and Ronan Collins [legendary Irish DJ].

    The concert Remembering Noel Bridgeman in Dublin on 4th May 2023, saw five members of the 1989 Room To Roam band reuniting for this event with proceeds going to the St Francis Hospice in Dublin.

    The show in the Olympia Theatre, was to celebrate the life of Noel Bridgeman who sadly passed away in March 2021.

    The Waterboys band on this night of nights featured the 1989 line-up of Mike, Sharon, Anto, Steve and Trevor along with James Hallawell on keys and Eamon Ferris and Audrey Bridgeman, who were both on drums.

    The band played a seven song set: They began with the traditional 1989 opener: On My Way To Heaven, then Fisherman's Blues & When Ye Go Away followed by a beautiful outing of A Song For The Life.

    A Life Of Sundays was next, which featured Dublin legend Brush Shiels on guitar and shared vocals. Then And A Bang On The Ear.

    Although not listed, the show finished with a rousing Across the Universe with the Waterboys and the full ensemble of artists who appeared on stage earlier that evening. The verses were shared with Tommy Moore, Mike and Audrey all singing a verse and with Kevin Malone on drums. What a wonderful night it was!

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  51. ☄ Setlist, Artist Laminate & Ticket - Olympia 2023 ☄

    A Setlist, Artist Laminate and Ticket from the Remembering Noel Bridgeman concert in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on 4th May 2023.

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  53. Audrey Bridgeman

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  55. It was a real pleasure to meet up with Audrey to have a chat about her Dad Noel, herself and the wonderful Olympia concert.

    J: I love your Dad's contributions to the Magnificent Seven book...

    Audrey: 'When Mike asked my Dad for some quotes for the book, Mike would send him a few CDs of recordings from that time and my Dad would listen to them and write down his thoughts, memories.'

    'There was a bit of synchronicity, if you like, because Mike had gotten in touch with my Dad just as he got ill. My Dad didn't tell Mike early on because he hadn't told us [the family] either. So my Dad was writing everything down, because he wasn't a technology person at all.' [Laughs]

    'Everything was hand written you know, so I'd take it and email it to Mike. I think I posted a couple to him too. This went on for about a month or so and of course my Dad had told him by then that he wasn't well.'

    'That reconnection with Mike felt like destiny to me.'

    J: Yes I believe that too. Audrey, I just want to say how sorry I was when I heard about your Dad's passing. You know, there's an ocean of adoration out there for your Dad, not just from Waterboys fans, but from everybody really, all the musicians he has played with and all the audiences he has played to, right across the board. He was genuinely much-loved.

    Audrey: 'Thanks James. At that time my Dad and the family were told that the tumor was treatable. It was at the base of his oesophagus where it meets the stomach and of course he was very worried. So they said he could get the radiation treatment and after that the chemo. But what happened was, he got three weeks of radiation and then he just went downhill after that. He was in the hospital for a week and it was then that they only really twigged that it was a rare and very aggressive type of cancer and he was gone a week later. The one thing is, he didn't suffer for too long. Covid was a real difficulty, you know, getting in to the hospital to see him and we only got in for fifteen minutes at a time. But my Dad understood that the restricted visits were necessary. He was that type of person, quite stoic.'

    'After he passed, people rang me and one drummer, in particular, told me:"You know, I used to follow your Dad around back in the 80s and study him closely. You have no idea just how influential he was, not just on other drummers but on other musicians too. He was always so encouraging, always real positive. You'd feel you could conquer the world after a bit of a pep talk". [Laughs] Noel was one of the few people you could ring up and because he was in tune, he didn't do anything else, [but play] and he knew what it took to get something going and to master your craft. He was really in to it.'

    J: Yes I have heard similar things said about Noel from friends. But you seem very dedicated to your craft too.

    'Yes, that’s been instilled in me. I remember when I went to Cuba to study, it was just for a drumming course, actually I went twice, first in 2003 and in 2004 for a longer period. There were two other girls and all the rest were fellas. It was funny, there were three courses: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. I had been playing for a few years so I went for Advanced. And the guy organising the course said : "Oh really? Hmmm well let's see". So when the Cuban guys heard me they were asking: "Where did you learn?" and I said my Dad was a drummer. And they said that they'd love to meet him. You see, my Dad was into Afro-Cuban rhythms and we studied them together and listened to a lot of that music.'

    J: That's amazing! So, how did the Olympia show come about?

    Audrey: 'Well, we were going to do a gig in Arthur's [Blues & Jazz Club on Thomas St, Dublin] for my Dad in October last year and that was being organised, very kindly by some of the musicians who had played with him. My Dad had played in Arthur's a lot too. But then Gerry Hendrick and Lee Meehan, who both played the Olympia, said to me: 'Your Dad deserves something bigger and well, the only person who could organise that would be Terry O'Neill. He’s the man for that'. Terry put gigs together for Robbie Brennan and Jimmy Faulkner in the Olympia and has worked with many well-known artists and bands over the years. Naturally, everyone who was doing Arthur's was invited to do the Olympia. So anyway, I got in touch with Terry and he said: 'Yeah Audrey, that would be great I’d love to do it'. He’s known Dad since he was about sixteen, so they go way back to the early days of Skid Row. MCD supplied the venue. Terry organised that. That’s how the ball got rolling.

    'Mike was the first person to be asked actually which was great because Mike said: 'Definitely, absolutely yes'. I was originally thinking of March because of my Dad's death which was on the 23rd and it was a Thursday so it sort of fell in to place that way. But, Mike was off on tour with the Waterboys in March [Europe].'

    But he told me that, if we were going ahead with that date, he would send us something live and we could show it at the gig. But I thought, well, it would be much better to have the Waterboys there at the gig so I said if we pushed the gig out would he be interested and he said: 'Oh yeah yeah, get back to me with dates'. So that's how it was pushed out to May 4th, the Waterboys were on tour up until the end of April.'

    J: When did the amazing idea to reform the 1989 line-up reveal itself?

    Audrey: 'That was Mike. Mike got back to me and said: 'What do you think about trying to put together the '89 line-up?' And I said: "Sure, that would be brilliant! That's a great idea" because that's the line-up my Dad was part of.'

    So it was Mike who got in touch with everybody, Sharon, Colin, Steve, Anto and Trevor.'

    'And then everyone jumped on board. It was very easy to get it going then because Mike had said yes. Mary Black & her band were all very enthusiastic about it and everyone was really generous with their talent and time, nothing was a problem.'

    'It was great to have Mike’s support. He was just so positive about the whole thing; 'It will come together and it will be great', you know, that sort of thing.'

    J: So it was all starting to come together. What was the next step?

    Audrey: 'And then, what was the next step?, well I suppose Colm Wilkinson, because my Dad had been in touch with Colm right up until he died. Colm used to ring him in the hospital you know and they were quite close. They hadn't seen each other for a couple of years because Colm lived away and then he came back. They gigged around together and later, as you know, Colm went on to huge success with Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera. '

    'They used to gig together at the US Army bases in Germany in the '60s. That was the connection there but they were friends before that. My Dad used to tell me stories that on the US bases; although segregation had ended in the States, the army was, for want of a better word, self-segregated and the soldiers would sit separately and Dad would say, it was pretty tense because you'd have to do a few country numbers for the white soldiers and a few blues and soul numbers for the African-American soldiers.'

    'On one occasion they were invited back to a party with the African-American soldiers and they were of course, chuffed. This was a big deal because they were into Muddy Waters and BB King and that was their thing, Jimi Hendrix and that. My Dad used to say that even though Colm went on to great success he never changed, he was was still the same lovely person as he was all those years ago. I rang him and asked him to do the gig. We were talking about Dad, music and stuff. He said: 'Your Dad was a great guy. I think of him every day. Yeah, put my name down for that Audrey', he was great to do the gig and he was brilliant.'

    'It was lovely that Rob [Strong] said yes too and Mary Coughlan and Mary Stokes. Then all of the great musicians that Dad would have played with over the years, Ed Deane, Tommy Moore, Gerry Hendrick, Lee Meehan, James Delaney, Richie Buckley, Susan Tomelty, Garvan Gallagher, Mik Pyro and many more. You know, top guitarist Pat Farrell was scheduled to do the gig too, but sadly he passed away earlier this year. [2023] It's important to recognise all of the musicians.'

    J: Absolutely it is. Mik Pyro was brilliant on the night.

    Audrey: 'Oh yeah yeah. he was fantastic! I have to mention Kevin Malone, Paul McAteer, Matthew Shiels, Grant Nicholas, Hugh Buckley, Emma Nicolai, Jhil Quinn, Antonio Cafolla, John Walsh, Brian Harris, Johnny Taylor, Gerry Mulryan and Donie Devaney who were all there too. They were all brilliant!'

    J: They were! Emma is a good friend and I know Jhil too. You know, that was a masterstroke inviting Brush [Brush Shiels: Dublin musician and Legend] to join the band for A Life Of Sundays.

    Audrey: 'That was Mike's idea very early on as well, just after he said: 'I've asked everyone from the '89 line-up and everyone has said yes!' So great, we are all systems go.'

  56. brush_award_olympia_may_4_2023
  57. 'He said to me: 'I've an idea Audrey, I'd like to ask Brush to do A Life Of Sundays and do the vocal part that Noel did on that.' And I said: "That's great! That's a great idea!"' [Laughs]

    'I really love that song actually. Brush was very good to do it as well. It was really lovely to see Brush getting the Hot Press Life Achievement award from Niall Stokes and Stuart Clark. I was thrilled to present it to him on stage.'


    J: Yeah he looked very humbled. Did you know before the rehearsal what songs Mike was thinking of performing?

    Audrey: 'Yeah Mike had given me a setlist.'

    'Mike is a fantastic singer. When you share a stage with him, it’s very apparent that he has that genius quality.'

    'My Dad used to always say, that should be your aim, to get better and better and better. You shouldn't just settle, no matter what you are doing, whether you're gigging in small places or big venues. That was just what he felt.'

    'I prefer to be prepared and I like putting the work in, I like practicing, that's part of the whole thing, you know, perfecting it. I could see that in Mike too, because we actually got the Olympia the day before which was great. It meant everything was so much easier, the Waterboys did their soundcheck the day before and because they were rehearsing in the venue gear didn't have to be moved and all that. So it worked out really well.'

    J: And you were on the second kit....

    Audrey: 'Well I knew there was going to be two drum kits set up because Terry had told me that's the way we do it for these types of shows. So I said to Mike would you mind if I played drums with you on one song because there'll be two drum kits and I imagine somebody else will want to jump on that kit! [Laughs] So he said: 'Yes of course, sure join us for the whole set'. That was really kind of him you know. That was brilliant and the rehearsal was so enjoyable as well.'

    'Although I was bit apprehensive beforehand because I'd never played with Mike before but it was great.'

    'It was really great to see how Mike works with people and how he runs a rehearsal. For me it was like a lesson. He just knows how to get the best out of people and knows what will work.'

    J: You and Eamon were really in sync with other...

    Audrey: 'I knew Eamon was going to be there, he was lovely. Such a nice guy. A great drummer as well. He's sound.'

    'But yeah that was easy for me to do. Well you see I played a lot with my Dad. We'd set up the two drum kits in the shed or I'd play congas and then we'd swap over. Sometimes we'd play two drums and that was a great way to play in sync. The thing is, you don't realise how lucky you are until you do something like that gig and you sit in on a Waterboys rehearsal. And you think all that time playing with my Dad prepared me for this, you know that way, which is great. I would have known that if I'm playing with another drummer that main thing I have to get right is to play in sync, play in time, make sure that if we are playing snares together that they are right on it. So you listen to the other person and then hold back on the long breaks because I didn't want it to be cluttered.'

    'I took the approach that, if Eamon was taking a break and, because he is the first drummer, if you like, then he should be the boss but he was very kind. He just said: "Audrey I'll take a break then I'll nod and you go for it" which was very generous because somebody might just say I'll take it all. [Laughs] But yeah we really did sync up yeah, which wouldn't happen, I don't think with some other drummers, just that Eamon is pretty sympathetic you know.'

    'And I would have always known with my Dad that the timing and the groove has to be spot on. And don't be thinking about fills and all that. You have to be able to hold it together first then get into the flow of it. '

    'He was quite tough my Dad, you know, but it was good because he said "if I don't tell you, you'll go out there and somebody else will tell you and you'll get a shock!" You know, you'll think: I thought I was great! [Laughs] You have to be tough on yourself and know where you are at and work on your weaknesses all the time. But I'm left-handed and I play right-handed. I play right-handed because it can be too awkward to change a kit. My Dad actually said it might be good if you play right-handed because your right is your weak hand and if you work on your weak hand it will really stand to you because you will be more balanced. A lot of the great players seem to have that 'either hand' thing.'

    J: Right. That's fascinating because I never really thought of a left or right-handed drummer before.

    Audrey: 'It was super to have BP Fallon and Donovan who were so kind to read the poem. What did you think of Donovan as the surprise guest?'

    J: I thought he was great and it was fantastic to see him with BP.

    Audrey: 'Ah yeah it was, and the poem was really good as well, it kind of brings the audience on a journey, having some spoken word as well as the music.'

    J: Your own songs that you played on the piano were great too. So you are a bit of a multi-instrumentalist yourself?

    Audrey: 'A bit. [Laughs] I played piano years ago as a kid and I did a few grades and that. But I stopped at grade five or six because I wanted to do the drumming. Really I should have kept the piano up but I've gone back to it in recent years. I wrote a few songs and I had ideas for a few more songs just before Covid and I was going through them with my Dad and he said these songs are coming from you so you should sing them. And he helped me to get going. I put a lot of work into it and I'm happy with how they turned out.'

    'I'm really in to it now and I practice every day if I can. I try and be very disciplined with it. I go to my Mam's because that's where my Dad practiced. It sort of keeping it going, for my Dad as well. It helps with losing somebody I think, if you're that connected to them. We would have played a lot together in the shed in my parents' place. It was great to get the opportunity to play two of my own songs at the gig.'

    J: You were wearing many hats at the show....

    Audrey: 'Oh yeah. I was a bit frazzled! [Laughs] But it all worked out really well.'

    J: The stage lighting and the visuals on the back screen were excellent. I actually noticed Steve and Mike checking out the screen a few times...

    Audrey: 'Terry organised all that with Kevin O’Neill and Fabien who did it all. Actually, Micromedia did great outdoor digital advertising in Dublin for the gig. I was completely knocked out when I saw the stage screen visuals because I didn't have any idea what it was going to be like. I had sent on some photos and I loved what they did with them. You don't really think of visuals as a musician but it really made it for the audience and added to the night as well. I really loved the mandala visuals too. They were so appropriate. Kevin also edited the video of Dad which was produced by Richard Stearn and Damien Brennan. It was a memorable opener!'

    'There were also a few video messages that we didn't have time to show; The Hothouse Flowers, Philip King, Fran Breen, Johnny Duhan and Ted Carroll were very kind and sent video messages of best wishes but unfortunately we ran out of time to show them.'

    'The sound was super too. The Waterboy’s sound and tech people – Stu, Neil and Doug joined the Olympia crew of Fearga, Mark and John, on the night and they worked really hard, long hours to get it perfect. Also, Paddy Freeney/Litton Lane/Paul Smith crew, Gearoid and Amy, and Paddy McPoland who knew Dad well, helped out a lot on the night. As did Al Gannon. Lawson, tour manager for Donovan, was great also.'

    'Mike has very high standards, which is the right approach and, in my opinion, it shows that he has enormous respect for the people who are traveling a long way to be there and who are paying in to see The Waterboys play. The stage times were fairly tight, but it all worked out, thanks to Ronan [Ronan Collins: legendary Irish DJ] and Damo, the stage manager.'

    J: The whole night was beyond fantastic Audrey!

    Audrey: 'I read on social media that someone came over to the gig, to see the ’89 line-up, from Germany.'

    J: There were a lot of fans who flew over for the show from far-flung places. Actually, some friends of mine flew in from NY and Boston, one from Norway and more from Scotland and England and one came from Australia.

    Audrey: 'Wow! That's amazing!' [Laughs]

    J: You see it's the historical aspect of it for the lifelong fans Audrey, to see the 1989 band play together again. Like for me, when they played four nights in the Olympia in June '89. I was at two. I had seen the four lads play together in the 80s and in 2013, but it was my first time seeing Sharon play on stage with the four of them since those '89 gigs. It was a major event!

    Audrey: 'What were they like back then?'

    J: They were fantastic! They just had this amazing chemistry, a gang of troubadours but playing like they were a single musical entity. Mike describes it really well in the [Magnificent Seven] book: he says they had tunes oozing out of them and played music non-stop, in hotels, airports, busking in the van on the way to a gig, in the dressing room, go do the show and then jump straight back into another session offstage.

    Audrey: 'That's what Dad said actually. He said: "We were always playing, on the coach or in the hotel. Sharon would get the accordion out and we were off". Dad actually played the accordion as a kid and he would have remembered some of the tunes he played so he has the highest regard for Sharon. Dad really admired Sharon's musicianship.'

    'From his perspective, everybody played more than one instrument which was a really special thing to have in a band where you have people who are multi-instrumentalists and people who can sing. It's the music that's important and if you are just jamming on the bus or at the airport, or whatever, music is the focus and it helps pass time in an enjoyable way!' [Laughs]

    'Dad always said that Mike was brilliant you know, he just knew how to put someone at ease and put them in the zone for being able to reciprocate and share ideas musically.'

    J: Yeah, like a natural leader or conductor. That show for Noel will go down as one of those special Dublin events that will be recalled for years to come.

    Audrey: 'Anyone I've spoken to after the gig, they all said: "That was the best gig I was at, in a long time. One or two said.."The best gig ever!" and that it was a great night. The audience were really in to it. One of my friends mentioned that the audience had a vested interest and were a part of it and you don’t get that at many gigs.'

    'I think the sound was so good too, and again back to Mike I suppose, it sort of all clicked with me, the importance of high standards and really, everybody ups their game, you know. Like, this is serious! [Laughs] And I think for the other performers when they have a good sound they perform better. As well as the lighting and all. It was memorable. I wish we could do it all again! [Laughs]'

    'It was a pity Colin couldn't make it. He said he was so disappointed that he couldn't make it over. But we’re in touch now which is lovely. James Hallawell was so good to get involved and play on the night.'

    J: Yeah that was unfortunate but couldn't be helped. Colin guested with the band in the Barrowlands just a couple of years ago so I'm sure we will see him again.

    Audrey: 'Would you think they will come back again? The '89 line-up?'

    J: I don't know Audrey and I would never attempt to guess what Mike might do down the road or which way he might jump. But... in my heart of hearts, I would like to think that we will see them perform again together at some stage.

    Audrey: 'Me too!'



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  59. To Order 'Fire In Your Soul' - Audrey Bridgeman - Please Click Here

    J: I gave your album 'Fire In Your Soul' a few full spins on the bounce and several songs are already becoming favourites. I love the start with Noel's drumming and I really like Fire In Your Soul, Freedom and On your own Terms which is a great mix by Mike and the laugh at the end is fab. Great to hear Zeenie Summers on there too and some of your Dads' old music sparring partners.

    Audrey: 'Thanks James that makes me feel so positive! When I recorded the album, that was the last thing my Dad recorded on. I asked Mike to remix On Your Own Terms and he did a great job! That's Zeenie's laugh at the end - I asked her could I leave it in because its so lovely! Yeah the musicians are superb. All live instruments.'

    J: It is a topnotch album. Well, thanks again for the brilliant chat Audrey, it was really enjoyable.

    Audrey: 'Ah thanks James. I really enjoyed it too. It was lovely.'




    Room To Roam Releases

    Listed below, you will find all of the various album releases on Vinyl, Cassette, CD, DCC and Minidisc. Also listed are the singles on 7-Inch and 12-Inch Vinyl, CD, and in one case, on cassette.




    ☄ Across The Tracks 1990 ☄

    Magazine article with Mike telling the stories behind some of the songs.

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  61. ☄ Vinyl Albums ☄






    Room To Roam LP


    The original album which was released on October 2nd 1990.

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  66. ☄ Room To Roam South Africa ☄

    A rare South African pressing in a darker printed sleeve.

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  69. ☄ Spanish Promo Pack ☄

    This is a lovely promotional item from Spain. The LP comes with a beautifully printed Spanish 10-inch booklet, with band member and album bio's, all housed in a vibrant yellow envelope with the band logo on the front. Very few of these envelopes have survived so if you happen upon one of these packs, do not hesitate.

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  71. ☄ 2021 Half-Speed Master Double LP ☄

    This remastererd half-speed master was released as a double vinyl on 3rd December 2021 to tie in with the release of The Magnificent Seven box set and book (see below).

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  74. ☄ Hot Press Covers 1989 - 1990 ☄

    Irish music magazine Hot Press covers from 1989 and 1990 with extensive interviews and concert reviews within.

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    Room To Roam Cassette





    ☄ Room To Roam Original Release ☄

    An original cassette of the Room To Roam album.

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  78. ☄ UK Promo Room To Roam Cassette ☄

    A UK promo cassette on Chrysalis of the Room To Roam album in a text only sleeve.

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  80. ☄ USA Promo Room To Roam Album Cassette ☄

    A USA promotional cassette of the Room To Roam album in a text only sleeve. Thank you Andy.

  81. wbs_us_rtr_promo_album_cassette



























  82. ☄ Indonesia Release ☄

    A scarce tape of Room To Roam from Indonesia. Clearly labeled on front cover.

  83. wbs_rtr_indonesia_cassette





























  84. ☄ South Africa Release ☄

    A South Africa tape of Room To Roam. Printed on a stiff card in darker colours.

  85. wbs_rtr_south_africa_cassette


















  86. wbs_rtr_south_africa_cassette_2























  87. ☄ Yugoslavia Release ☄

    A Room To Roam tape from Yugoslavia with orange labels.

  88. wbs_rtr_yugo_cassette
























  89. ☄ Room To Roam Canada & US Tour 1990 Press Release ☄

    A press release and two photos promoting the forthcoming 1990 tour of Canada & the USA.

  90. wbs_rtr_tour_press_release.jpg

































  91. CD Albums





    ☄ Room To Roam 1990 ☄

    Original release of the album.

  92. wbs_rtr_stand_cd_cover
  93. wbs_rtr_stand_cd_back_cover




















  94. ☄ USA Longbox Edition ☄

    The USA album was first released in a longbox, with artwork unique to this version. The longbox format was normal practice at that time. However, very few of these have survived intact, so if you happen upon one, do not hesitate. Still Sealed longbox album shown.

  95. wbs_room _to_roam_usa_longbox_cd




































  96. ☄ 'Room To Roam' Japan ☄

    A CD of Room To Roam from Japan with lyric booklet and OBI strip.

  97. jap_room_to_roam_1
  98. jap_room_to_roam_2





















  99. ☄ 'Room To Roam' - Japan Sample Promo ☄

    A scarce sample promo CD of Room To Roam from Japan with Promo tag, Lyric booklet, OBI strip and Sample Not For Sale printed on disc. Thank you Dag.

  100. jap_room_to_roam_promo_1
  101. jap_room_to_roam_promo_2



















  102. jap_room_to_roam_promo_3






















  103. ☄ Room To Roam 2CD Press Promotion ☄

    Press Promotion for the double CD release in 2008..

  104. wbs_rtr_2cd_press_promotion



























  105. ☄ 2CD Room To Roam Collectors Edition 2008 ☄

    The two-disc Collectors Edition release from 2008 with various outtakes and live versions.

  106. wbs_rtr_collector_2cd_cover
  107. wbs_rtr_collector_2cd_back_cover




















  108. ☄ 2CD Collectors Edition Promo ☄

    The promo of the two-disc Collectors Edition release.

  109. wbs_rtr_2cd_promo_copy



































  110. The Magnificent Seven Box Set 2021


    This fabulous five CD set, with one DVD and sumptuous hardback book was released in December 2021. The CDs contain a plethora of recordings from the Room To Roam sessions. The DVD has two complete audience videos of Glastonbury 1989, Milan 1989, a 1990 Spiddal home movie made by Mike, a feature from Irish TV and a Myles O'Reilly film from the Spiddal Reunion concerts in aid of the Strange Boat Organ Donation in 2012.

    The beautifully produced book, written by Mike, is filled with unseen photos and memorabilia. Mike tells the full story of the band from 1989 to 1990, with major contributions from all the Room To Roam band members, including the late Noel Bridgeman. An absolute must-have!

  111. wbs_mag_seven_1
















  112. wbs_mag_seven_2





































  113. wbs_mag_seven_3









































  114. The Green Box

    This elusive set known as The Green Box was a strictly promotional kit pack released in very limited quantities by the record company to tie in with the release of the Best Of '81-'90 compilation. This is Waterboys Kit #2. It contains the Room To Roam vinyl LP, The 12-inch of And A Bang On The Ear, a Mike Scott Interview CD, the 1991 7-inch release of Fisherman's Blues, a photo and a certificate. Thank you Andy.

  115. wbs_green_box_promo_box_set

























































  116. The Singles:





    How Long Will I Love You




    ☄ Irish Only Sleeve ☄

    How Long Will I Love You was released in an exclusive colourful sleeve in Ireland. These sleeves are extremely difficult to find nowadays, especially the 12-inch. If you happen to find either, or both of these rare singles, do not hesitate.

  117. wbs_hlwily_irish_only_single




























  118. ☄ 7-Inch: ☄




    ☄ Australia 7-Inch ☄

    This is the 7-inch of How Long Will I Love You b/w Come Live With Me from Australia.

  119. wbs_hlwily_australia_7_side_a
  120. wbs_hlwily_australia_7_side_b






















  121. ☄ Europe / UK 7-Inch ☄

    This is the Europe / UK 7-inch of How Long Will I Love You b/w Come Live With Me

  122. wbs_hlwily_7_cover
  123. wbs_hlwily_7_back_cover






















  124. ☄ Irish Only 7-Inch ☄

    Irish single of How Long Will I Love You in an exclusive picture sleeve.

  125. wbs_how_long_will_i_love_you_irish_7_inch_cover
  126. wbs_how_long_will_i_love_you_irish_7_inch_back_cover






















  127. ☄ How Long Will I Love You - 7-Inch German Test Press ☄

  128. wbs_hlwily_german_7_test_press_a
  129. A test pressing 7-inch single of How Long Will I Love You from Germany.




















    ☄ 12-Inch: ☄





    ☄ France 12-Inch ☄

    French 12-inch of How Long Will I Love You b/w When Will We Be Married & Come Live With Me.

  130. wbs_hlwily_france_12_cover
  131. wbs_hlwily_france_12_backcover






















  132. ☄ German 12-Inch Test Pressing ☄

    This is a German Test Pressing 12-inch of How Long Will I Love You.

  133. wbs_hlwily_german_12_test_press_a
  134. wbs_hlwily_german_12_test_press_b






















  135. ☄ Irish Only 12-Inch ☄

    Irish release of How Long Will I Love You in an exclusive picture sleeve.

  136. wbs_how_long_will_i_love_you_irish_12_inch_cover
  137. wbs_how_long_will_i_love_you_irish_12_inch_back_cover






















  138. ☄ Spain 12-Inch ☄

    Spanish 12-inch of How Long Will I Love You in a distinctive sleeve.

  139. wbs_hlwily_spain_12_cover
  140. wbs_hlwily_spain_12_backcover






















  141. ☄ UK 12-Inch ☄

    UK 12-inch of How Long Will I Love You b/w When Will We Be Married and Come Live With Me.

  142. wbs_hlwily_uk_12_cover
  143. wbs_hlwily_uk_12_backcover






















  144. ☄ Record Store Day 12-Inch Release 2021 ☄

    An RSD release on 17th July 2021 of a new remix of How Long Will I Love You in a lovely picture sleeve. Limited to 3000 copies and backed with three exclusive tracks unavailable elsewhere. These are: Something That Is Gone (Backing Track), A Life Of Sundays (Early Take) and Bluejeans And Moonbeams (Portuguese Hotel Room).

  145. wbs_hlwily_2021_12_inch
  146. wbs_hlwily_2021_12_inch_back


















  147. wbs_hlwily_2021_12_inch_side_1
  148. wbs_hlwily_2021_12_inch_side_2






















  149. CD Single:




    ☄ How Long Will I Love You ☄

    A three-track CD How Long Will I Love You b/w When Will We Be married and Come Live With Me. This CD single was released in the UK and Europe.

  150. wbs_hlwily_standard_cd_single






















  151. Cassette Single:




    ☄ How Long Will I Love You ☄

    A scarce cassingle of How Long Will I Love You b/w Come Live With Me. Same songs both sides.

  152. wbs_hlwily_cassette_single



















  153. A Man Is In Love




    ☄ 7-Inch: ☄




    ☄ German 7-Inch 1991 ☄

    A 7-inch from Germany in a distinctive sleeve of A Man Is In Love b/w Fisherman's Blues. This release is from the Best Of '81-'90 album that was released about seven months after Room To Roam.

  154. wbs_amiil_german_7_cover
  155. wbs_amiil_german_7_backcover






















  156. ☄ Spanish 7-Inch Promo 1990 ☄

    A 1990 promo white label 7-inch from Spain of A Man Is In Love. Same song both sides.

  157. wbs_amiil_7_spanish_promo_a
  158. wbs_amiil_7_spanish_promo_b






















  159. ☄ UK 7-Inch 1991 ☄

    This is the UK 7-inch of A Man Is In Love b/w Something That Is Gone

  160. wbs_amiil_uk_7_cover
  161. wbs_amiil_uk_7_back






















  162. CD Singles:




    ☄ Europe CD Single ☄

    A three-track CD A Man Is In Love for the European market.

  163. wbs_amiilove_cd_single_1
  164. wbs_amiilove_cd_single_2




















  165. ☄ A Man Is In Love - German CD ☄

    A three-track CD A Man Is In Love b/w Fisherman's Blues and a live BBC session version of Medicine Bow. It also appeared on the Fisherman's Blues 1991 CD single. In 1994 it did appear as the opening track on the Secret Life release. This unique cover was an exclusive for Germany only.

  166. wbs_amiil_standard_cd_.single























  167. The Whole Of The Moon 1991




    ☄ 7-Inch: ☄




    ☄ Australia 7-Inch ☄

    A 7-Inch 1991 reissue of The Whole Of The Moon from Australia in a plain sleeve.

  168. wbs_aus_moon 1991_a
  169. wbs_aus_moon 1991_b






















  170. ☄ Europe 7-Inch ☄

    A 7-inch from Europe in a die-cut 'stars' sleeve. The reissue of The Whole Of The Moon saw the single reach number 3 in the UK charts. This release is from the Best Of '81-'90 album that was released in the spring of 1991.

  171. wbs_moon_7_inch_cover_1991
  172. wbs_moon_7_inch_back_1991






















  173. ☄ Europe - Solid Sleeve 7-Inch ☄

    A 7-inch from Europe in a solid non die-cut sleeve.

  174. wbs_moon_europe_7_1991_cover
  175. wbs_moon_europe_7_1991_backcover


















  176. wbs_moon_europe_7_1991_a
  177. wbs_moon_europe_7_1991_b






















  178. ☄ UK / Europe - Silver Label 7-Inch ☄

    A 7-inch from the UK and Europe on a silver label.

  179. wbs_moon_silver_7_1991_a
  180. wbs_moon_silver_7_1991_b






















  181. ☄ 12-Inch: ☄




    ☄ Europe - Solid Sleeve 12-Inch ☄

    A 12-inch from Europe in a solid non die-cut sleeve.

  182. wbs_moon_europe_12_1991_cover
  183. wbs_moon_europe_12_1991_backcover


















  184. wbs_moon_europe_12_1991_a
  185. wbs_moon_europe_12_1991_b






















  186. ☄ UK 12-Inch ☄

    A UK 1991 12-inch in a die-cut 'stars' sleeve. The reissue of The Whole Of The Moon saw the single reach number 3 in the UK charts. This release is from the Best Of '81-'90 album that was released in the spring of 1991. Thank you Stephen.

  187. wbs_moon_12_inch_cover_1991
  188. wbs_moon_12_inch_back_1991






















  189. CD Singles:




    ☄ The Whole Of The Moon 1991 ☄

    A three-track CD The Whole Of The Moon 1991 b/w The Golden Age Medley which is made up of four songs: A Golden Age, Higher In Time, High Far Soon and Soon As I Get Home. This CD single was released in the UK and Europe.

  190. wbs_moon_cd_single_1991






















  191. ☄ Spanish One-Track Promo CD ☄

    A 1991 one-track promo CD single from Spain in a card sleeve.

  192. wbs_moon_cd_promo_1991























  193. ☄ USA Three-Track Promo CD ☄

    A 1991 three-track promo CD single from the USA in a jewel case with no front sleeve. Thank you Andy.

  194. wbs_usa_moon_promo_1991























  195. Cassette Single:




    ☄ The Whole Of The Moon 1991 ☄

    A cassingle of The Whole Of The Moon 1991 b/w The Golden Age Melody. Same songs both sides.

  196. wbs_moon_cassette_single_1991



















  197. ☄ Promo VHS Video 1991 ☄

    A VHS promotional video for 'The Whole Of The Moon'1991 on NTSC format, housed in a custom sleeve.


  198. wbs_moon_vhs_video_tape_1991.jpg







































  199. Fisherman's Blues 1991




    ☄ 7-Inch: ☄




    ☄ Europe 7-Inch ☄

    A 7-Inch 1991 reissue of Fisherman's Blues in a colour sleeve.

  200. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_7_1
  201. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_7_2


















  202. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_7_side_1
  203. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_7_side_2






















  204. ☄ 12-Inch: ☄




    ☄ Europe 7-Inch ☄

    A 12-Inch 1991 reissue of Fisherman's Blues in a colour sleeve, identical to the 7-inch release.

  205. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_12_1
  206. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_12_2






















  207. CD Single:




    ☄ Europe CD Single ☄

    A 1991 CD single reissue of Fisherman's Blues in a colour sleeve, identical to the 7-inch release, but which contains an extra track: a live BBC recording of Medicine Bow from 1986.

  208. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_cd_1
  209. wbs_fisherman's _blues_1991_cd_2






















  210. Cassette Single:




    ☄ Europe Cassette Single ☄

    A 1991 'Cassingle' of Fisherman's Blues in a colour sleeve which contains an extra track: a live BBC recording of Medicine Bow from 1986. Same three songs on both sides.

  211. wbs_fb_cass_single

























  212. A three-track promo tape of the cassette single. Thank you Andy.

  213. fb_3_trk_12_tape_promo


















  214. Tomás MacEoin: Down By The Sally Gardens / Blean Na Bó

    This version of the very hard-to-find double A-side single of Down By The Sally Gardens b/w Blean Na Bó (Hey Rock N Roll) is notable for the misspelling of . The number that were pressed with this error is not known.

    Released in 1989, it features practically all of the (then) Waterboys: Mike, Anto, Steve, Trevor, Noel Bridgeman, Colin Blakey and John Dunford. Liam O'Maonlái also appears on backing vocals. This single was also produced by Mike. If you happen to come across one of these, do not hesitate.

  215. tomas_cover
  216. tomas_reverse




















  217. tomas_side_1
  218. tomas_side_2





















  219. ☄ Tomás MacEoin Single with Correct Spelling ☄

    This is the Tomás single with the correct spelling on a slightly different label. The number of this corrected version that were pressed is not known. Both versions of the single were pressed in the Carlton Productions Record Plant in Dublin, notable by the Double Dip at centre of label and the gripper teeth surrounding the label rim. Both of these identifying characteristics are unique to the Irish Record Plant.

  220. tomas_side_a
  221. tomas_side_aa






















  222. ☄ NME 1990 - Melody Maker 1991 ☄

    Mike on the covers of UK magazines NME in 1990 and Melody Maker in 1991.

    wbs_nme_1990_mm_91




























    Best Of '81-'90




    Best Of '81-'90 Vinyl:




    ☄ South Africa LP ☄

    A scarce South Africa LP release.

  223. wbs_best_of_lp_south_africa_cover
  224. wbs_best_of_lp_south_africa_back





















  225. ☄ UK Original LP ☄


    The UK LP album released in early 1991. This album was a big seller!

  226. wbs_uk_best_of_lp_1
  227. wbs_uk_best_of_lp_2




















  228. wbs_uk_best_of_lp_3
  229. wbs_uk_best_of_lp_4





















  230. Best Of '81-'90 CD:




    ☄ Interview 1991 ☄

    A Mike Interview with Dave Fanning [Irish DJ] from 1991. This CD was issued to promote the Best Of '81-'90 Compilation. Duration is about 55 minutes.

  231. wbs_interview_cd_1991




















  232. ☄ UK 2 CD Set ☄

    This is a Limited Edition of the Best Of '81-'90 CD coupled with a Mike Interview with Dave Fanning disc which highlights the songs on the compilation. It comes housed in a double gatefold sleeve.

  233. wbs_best_of_2_cd_set



































  234. ☄ Japan ☄

    A CD of the Best Of compilation with lyric booklet and OBI strip. Thank you Dag.

  235. jap_best_of_1
  236. jap_best_of_2


















  237. japan_best_of_3






















  238. ☄ Japan - Sample Promo ☄

    A scarce sample promo CD of the Best Of compilation with promo tag and OBI strip.

  239. jap_best_of_promo_2
  240. jap_best_of_promo_3






















  241. ☄ The Essential ☄

    The Best Of '81-'90 was reissued and rebranded by EMI and released as The Essential in Europe on CD only in 2003.

  242. wbs_essential_2003_cover
  243. wbs_essential_2003_back_sleeve























  244. Best Of '81-'90 Cassette:






    ☄ Sound Cellar In-Store Promo Cassette with Voice Over ☄

    A scarce Sound Cellar In-Store promo cassette with a voice over between each track.

  245. wbs_best_of_in_store_promo_tape
















  246. ☄ Promotional Tape - Europe ☄

    A promo cassette in a green text cover.

  247. wbs_best_of_europe_promo_tape















  248. ☄ France ☄

    An official release from France with a foldout lyrics cover.

  249. wbs_best_of_france_cassette


























  250. ☄ Greece ☄

    An official release from Greece on the Chrysalis label.

  251. wbs_best_of_greek_cassette




















  252. ☄ Poland ☄

    A Polish release in slightly different artwork.

  253. wbs_best_of_poland_cassette


























  254. ☄ Taiwan ☄

    An extremely rare official release from Taiwan. This copy is still sealed.

  255. wbs_best_of_taiwan_cassette





















  256. ☄ Mini Disc & DCC Format ☄

    The Best Of '81-'90 was also released on Mini Disc (MD) and the very short-lived format: Digital Compact Cassette (DCC).


  257. wbs_best_of_mini_disc















  258. wbs_best_of_dcc























  259. Memorabilia & Merchandise





    ☄ Waterboys Tour Jacket 1988- 1989 ☄

    A beautiful leather tour jacket from the 1988 - 89 Tours made for the band members.

    The jacket is embroidered with 'The Waterboys Ireland 88 - 89' and it has 'MCD' embroidered on the lapel.

    Thank you Sharon.


  260. wbs_88_89_leather_jacket_sharon.jpg




























  261. ☄ Waterboys Denim Band Jacket 1989 ☄

    Colin Blakey: 'This is my venerable American Tour jacket that I still wear - well done Levis! Thank you Colin.

  262. wbs_band_tour_jacket_us_canada_1989_colin




























  263. ☄ Band and Crew Denim Jacket 1990 ☄

    A very special band and crew Highlands and Islands Campaign denim jacket from the Room to Roam tour in 1990.

    Thank you Véronique.

  264. wbs_denim_jacket_1990.jpg































































  265. ☄ Nijmegen 1989 Tour Poster ☄

    An original poster for the show in Nijmegen, Netherlands on October 4th. Thank you Harry.

  266. nijmegen_poster_1989.jpg



















































  267. ☄ Glastonbury Wristband 1989 ☄

    A wristband from the Glastonbury Festival 1989. Thank you Paul.

  268. wbs_glasto_1989_wristband.jpg














  269. ☄ Three Tickets from the 1989 Tour ☄

    A trio of Irish tickets from Galway, Croom and Belfast 1989. Thank you Paul.

  270. wbs_three_fb_rtr_tickets.jpg















  271. ☄ Irish Christmas Tour - December 1989 ☄

    A concert listings poster for the Irish Christmas Tour 1989.

    Thank you John.

  272. wbs_irish_christmas_tour_poster_1989.jpg





















































  273. ☄ 'LEJOT' T-Shirt 1990: ☄

    A wonderfully designed 'Lands End to John O' Groats'(LEJOT) t-shirt from 1990.

    Thank you Colin.

  274. wbs_rtr_legot_tee.jpg
















































  275. ☄ Room to Roam British Tour 1990: ☄

    A much-loved white t-shirt with UK dates on reverse. Thank you Dag.

  276. wbs_rtr_british_tour_1990_tee.jpg








































  277. ☄ Room To Roam: Islandman T-Shirt - 1990 ☄

    A lovely 1990 t-shirt with Islandman lyrics.

  278. wbs_islandman_tshirt_1990


























  279. ☄ Unused Ticket 1990 ☄

    An unused ticket from Valencia, October 17th 1990.

  280. wbs_unused_ticket_spain_oct_1990




















  281. ☄ Two US Tour Posters December 1990 ☄

    Two Venue posters from Boulder, Colorado on December 5th and Berkeley, California on Dec 12th 1990.


  282. wbs_boulder_poster_dec_1990
  283. berkeley_1990































  284. ☄ Room To Roam Canada/US Tee 1990 ☄

    A 1990 Room To Roam Tee-Shirt for the USA and Canadian Tour with dates on reverse.

  285. wbs_room_to_roam_tee_us_canada.jpg






















  286. ☄ Dublin - December 26th 1990 ☄

    Poster for the Dublin show in The Point on St Stephen's day December 26th.

    Thank you John.

  287. wbs_point_theatre_1990.jpg






















































  288. ☄ Promo T-Shirt for the Best Of '81 - '90 (1991): ☄

    Promo only t-shirt. Thank you Dag.


  289. wbs_promo_tee_81_90.jpg
































  290. ☄ Best Of Songbook ☄

    Original songbook released in 1991 containing music and lyrics from the Best Of compilation.


  291. wbs_best_of_songbook_1
  292. wbs_best_of_songbook_2


























    ☄ Press Promotion - Hot Press 1990 ☄


    A press promotion with Greetings & Thanks in the Irish magazine Hot Press at the end of 1990.

  293. wbs_hot_press_1990_greetings