escribed by his old Waterboys bandmate Mike Scott as “the world’s greatest rock fiddle player”, and by the NME as a ‘fiddling legend’, Steve Wickham has played on many of Ireland’s finest 3-minute blasts of joy.
That the list includes U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, Declan O’Rourke’s Gallileo, Sinead O’Connor’s I’m Stretched On Your Grave and, of course, The Waterboys’ Fisherman’s Blues makes this unassuming fiddling fellow an important part of our musical jigsaw.
Having played with everyone from Elvis Costello to the Flowers and Sinead O’Connor, Wickham is currently getting his patented fuzz fiddle out with NoCrows, a raggle-taggle band of gypsys that also includes such luminaries as Russian violinist Oleg Ponomarev, Swiss cellist Anna Houston and Spanish guitarist Felip Carbonell.
Oh, and two far-less-exotic creatures from a little closer to home, guitarist and fiddle-player Ray Coen and bassist Eddie Lee.
In the meantime, we asked young Wickham to reveal the songs that can make him break down and cry…
Listening to music, I’ve welled up, yes, and much more frequently had those goosebumps from my neck to my toes. It happens every time I hear some great truthfulness in the music or the musician…
The live recording Nina Simone singing Mississippi Goddam live after the assassination of Martin Luther King and the burning of four school girls in Alabama. I can share all her frustration with the institutionalised racism of the US in the 60s – I’m old enough to remember the news reports.
The wonderful Stevie Wonder singing Heaven Help us All, his voice singing from the mountain tops for so long now. It’s got the killer line ‘Heaven help the boy who won’t reach 21/Heaven help the man that gave that boy a gun‘.
Jacques Brel singing Marieke. A few years ago, the NoCrows were touring in Flanders and I was looking for a song with Flemish lyrics. I came across this from the Master. You have to listen to the end and go with the flow. Bit like life really…
Check out NoCrows website here, or, better still, go buy some of their fine music right here.
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