|Birth name||Steve Wickham|
|Born||Dublin, Republic Of Ireland|
|Genres||Rock, folk, folk rock, Soul, country|
|Associated acts||The Waterboys|
Steve Wickham is an Irish musician described by Mike Scott as "the world's greatest rock fiddle player" and by New Musical Express as a "fiddling legend." Originally from Marino, Dublin, but calling Sligo home,, Wickham has appeared on recordings by Elvis Costello, the Hothouse Flowers, Sinéad O'Connor, U2, and World Party and is a long-standing member of The Waterboys. Wickham plays both rock and roll and traditional Irish music on fiddle, and has developed a rock music technique he calls the "fuzz fiddle".
Scott invited Wickham to participate in The Waterboys after hearing his work on an O'Connor demo tape at Wallinger's studio. Wickham contributed his fiddle to the song "The Pan Within" on The Waterboys' This Is the Sea. After the album was released, Wallinger left The Waterboys and Wickham joined the group officially. Wickham invited Scott to move The Waterboys to Dublin, Ireland in 1986. Wickham's influence and the new environment resulted in the traditional Irish music sound of Fisherman's Blues (1988). In 1990, Wickham, preferring an acoustic sound over rock, disagreed with Scott and Anthony Thistlethwaite over the direction of The Waterboys, and the group disbanded. Scott reformed the band seven years later. Wickham appeared as a guest at some Waterboys concerts in Dublin in 2000, and, according to Scott "it felt so good he re-joined the band". The Waterboys now continue to record music and tour, with Wickham as a prominent member. While some of the band's recent releases have been dominated by a rock sound, such as the album A Rock in the Weary Land, Wickham's musical preferences can be seen in Universal Hall and in his own side-projects. Wickham also regularly performs with the Sligo Early Music Ensemble.
Wickham has experimented with a technique he calls "fuzz fiddle", partially inspired by rock fiddler Warren Ellis and the genre of grunge music. Wickham's first attempt at a distorted rock fiddle sound was with a band named Juggler, which existed between 1978 and 1981. Wickham fed his fiddle through a guitar distortion pedal, but disliked the amount of feedback and the fact that it "was very difficult to control". While attending a Nick Cave concert with Scott, Wickham observed Ellis use a fiddle with a fuzz pedal successfully. Wickham, after experimenting with some combinations, settled upon an amplifier, fiddle and pedal combination he was pleased with, "and the fuzz-fiddle was reborn". Wickham has used the technique for The Waterboys song "Is She Conscious?", a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Independence Day" and, in a nod to Jimi Hendrix's version of "The Star Spangled Banner", has also used it in a performance of "Amhrán na bhFiann".
Wickham is also accomplished with the violin, mandolin, tin whistle, concertina, saxophone, piano, guitar and bones. Wickham identifies his musical influences as Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Toni Marcus, Mozart and Mick Ronson, among others.
Wickham has performed on numerous albums as a guest or band member. His first solo album, Geronimo was released in 2004 (see 2004 in music). The album is named after Wickham's name for his "beloved" violin.