Goodbye Mr Mackenzie released their first album, Good Deeds and Dirty Rags, in 1989. It entered the UK charts at No.16 and the band quickly attracted a large, loyal support north of the border. Incredible live shows and singles like the Rattler, in particular, further cemented a fond place in many a Scottish heart. A colourful and varied career followed.
As The List would have it: “The MacKenzies left behind the most complex and fascinating footprint of any Scottish Band. Live they were stunning. Lead singer Martin Metcalfe looked like the MC of a particularly debauched cabaret, rousing a troupe that included Shirley Manson who went on to front Garbage and Big John Duncan ex-the Exploited and a couple of Nirvana gigs. While their Scottish counterparts were looking at soul and Steeleye Dan for inspiration the MacKenzies were taking theirs from the Pixies and the Birthday Party.”
They never stood still, releasing 6 albums in total and touring extensively, including supports for Blondie and Aztec Camera. They then appeared as Angelfish in the US with Manson taking over lead vocals, supported the Ramones and toured with the late great Vic Chestnut. An album produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads was released before Manson went on to enjoy huge success with Garbage.
Core members Metcalfe, Derek Kelly and Fin Wilson kept ploughing their own furrow and two more critically acclaimed albums under Isa & the Filthy Tongues, with American Stacy Chavis on vocals, ensued. Songs from this period appeared on the soundtrack to Richard Jobson’s film New Town Killers and David Mackenzie’s Hollywood movie Spread.
Today, as the Filthy Tongues with Metcalfe back at the helm, two further albums have attracted rave reviews and Radio 6 attention thanks to Steve Lamacq. Live shows and festival appearances with the addition of Alex Shedlock (guitars and keys), Asim Rasool (percussion) and Susannah Clark (violin & viola) have been electric.
But to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album that started it all off, the MacKenzies are back for three shows only to play Good Deeds in its entirety, plus perhaps a few little extra little treats. It's party time.
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