SCOTT FEELS A BOND WITH THE ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL INTERESTS OF YEATS
where I’d feel at home living. It was a good time but a kind of incomplete time as well.’’
Scott found a home, geographically and spiritually, in the mid 90s, when he moved to the Scottish village of Findhorn, near Inverness, to immerse himself in the teachings and philosophy of the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual awareness organisation founded in the early 70s and one that has had a profound effect on Scott’s life ever since. He lived there, working in the kitchens, living a relatively atypical existence for a rock star, in 1994-95, and again from 2002 until 2008. He has been a regular visitor since leaving and will spend Christmas there next week.
‘‘ I had always been interested in spiritual affairs and I got really into it in my 20s with spiritual literature,’’ Scott says. ‘‘ Then I reached 32, 33 and I really wanted some formal spiritual education, some experience of a deeper world. Just at the time I formulated that idea I discovered Findhorn, this community in Scotland. I had just learned to meditate at the time. I was living in New York. I learned to meditate at a bookshop on Fifth Avenue. Then I learned about Findhorn and went to visit and I just loved the place. I had very profound spiritual experiences there.’’
During his first stint in the community the media, and in particular the music press, saw his spiritual leanings as a renunciation of his rock stardom and even his music career. But Scott continued to make music and did so during all his time at Findhorn, even performing his new material in the village hall and sitting in with community bands playing other people’s songs.
‘‘ I was touring while I was on Findhorn,’’ he says. ‘‘ I was an active musician while I was living there. It wasn’t an escape from anything or a retreat from anything. It was my school. There are all these ways of thinking that I carry with me ever since Findhorn and I’m forever grateful for that.’’
He’s grateful also for the profound influence Yeats has had on his life, although he stops short of saying the poet has had a direct bearing on his own lyrics. ‘‘ I just liked his poetry,’’ he says. ‘‘ It wasn’t that he had a big influence on my songwriting. Maybe he does more so now, though. I put a lot of work into the Yeats album.’’
Fans can judge just what a correlation there is between the Irish poet and the Scottish songwriter on the Waterboys’ tour, which begins in Brisbane on January 19 and travels to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. on January 18 and travels to the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.
Leading the BDO line-up next year are American rock veterans the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with a raft of big names also on the bill, including the Killers, Vampire Weekend, Alabama Shakes and our own 360, Grinspoon, Urthboy and Deep Sea Arcade.
Elvis Costello and the Imposters begin their stint in Melbourne at the Palais Theatre on January 25 and play Sydney’s State Theatre on January 30, as well as performing a series of winery shows in several states.
Nashville-based Australian country legend Keith Urban returns for a series of shows in January and February, beginning at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on January 25 and travelling to Sydney and Melbourne.
Those of a country music persuasion may also be interested in visiting the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in NSW, which runs from January 18-27 and promises a more adventurous and international line-up than in previous years, with Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, American songwriter Elizabeth Cook and hundreds of other performers strutting their stuff.