Prog - - Limelight -

It's al­ways been very 'Big Mu­sic', of­ten with lit­er­ary pre­ten­sions. Which does beg the ques­tion… how prog is Mike Scott?

"I love The Water­boys, but I wouldn't clas­sify them even re­motely as a prog band. I would la­bel them as pop/rock, with ele­ments of tra­di­tional Irish folk."

WIL­LIAM WALL­BERG "They've had their 'prog' mo­ments, no­tably A Pa­gan

Place and This Is The Sea. It seems to me that af­ter that Mr Scott hasn't re­ally in­no­vated in any real sense. As much as I like the folky vibe of Fish­er­man's Blues,

I'd strug­gle to de­scribe it, or any­thing that fol­lowed, as pro­gres­sive."

DAVID EL­LIOTT "Started out Bun­ny­men meets Van Mor­ri­son. So odd, but not prog. They then went more Steve Earle goes Celtic. Much less odd, but still not prog."

PROG WATCHER "Their mu­sic's en­joy­able enough, but they can't be said to have bro­ken any new ground. So for me, not prog."

LEIGH LANGHORN "They com­bine the folk roots of The In­cred­i­ble String Band with the soul of the Mov­ing Hearts, mix in a splash of psychedelia, the lyri­cism of Dy­lan and, af­ter 30 plus years, re­lease a triple al­bum. The one group wifey and I agree on."

GARY MOR­LEY "Where rock and roll tips its hat to Amer­i­can blues, I've thought that pro­gres­sive rock has dipped into the well of Bri­tish/Celtic folk mu­sic at its root, the­mat­i­cally and lyri­cally. The Water­boys have pushed that folk tra­di­tion for­ward, pro­gres­sively…"


"About as prog as mild ched­der cheese."

JAMES SHARDLOW "In prog terms they'd prob­a­bly have a lot in com­mon with the Can­ter­bury scene and also Fair­port Con­ven­tion."

LES­LIE MOYES "Not prog, but a folk-in­flu­enced rock band/artist that ex­plore the pa­ram­e­ters of that par­tic­u­lar field. Great band/artist nev­er­the­less…"

THOMAS OLS­SON "Ac­tu­ally my in­tro­duc­tion to The Water­boys was a guy in a record store who told me, 'So you like pro­gres­sive rock, well have a lis­ten to this one – it's like Jethro Tull for the 80s.' Then he handed me A Pa­gan Place. Bought it, brought it home, put it on, and loved it…"

JA­COB HOLM-LUPO "I wouldn't re­ally call The Water­boys pro­gres­sive in any as­pect… They're just good folk rock!"

CIARAN WHYTE "More part of 'the big mu­sic' fra­ter­nity be­fore they went all rag­gle tag­gle, but a very good band. Their sound changed when Karl Wallinger left to form World Party, who were pos­si­bly more proggy than the Water­boys…"

NEIL BOUGHEY "Nah, not for me. Good band, folk and Celtic in­flu­ences cer­tainly, but not much prog go­ing on."

MARK HUD­SON "Why would you even ask that? Was it a drunken con­ver­sa­tion down the pub?"


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