Review: Goodbye Mr Mackenzie - Thrilled fans open their arms to say Hello Mr Mackenzie
IT is more than 20 years since Goodbye Mr Mackenzie last played live in the Capital so a lot was riding on the first of two sold-out nights at the Liquid Room on Saturday, where Martin Metcalfe and company cranked up the volume to prove they’ve lost none of their fire and brimstone with an electrifying set.* * * * * *LIQUID ROOM, Victoria Street
Arriving on stage to an ecstatic welcome – and the cry of “Welcome home” from one enthusiastic fan who spoke for the entire venue – the band wasted no time before launching into Open Your Arms, the opening track on their debut album Good Deeds And Dirty Rags.
Released 30 years ago, the anniversary provided the impetus for reuniting the Mackenzies in this one-off series of celebratory gigs around the country. If Metcalfe’s vocals were sounding more menacing than normal, all was explained two songs in when he announced, “In case you haven’t heard, I’ve got laryngitis which means you have to sing for me.” Throughout the night, the capacity crowd duly obliged although Metcalfe’s growling delivery proved more that fitting for the darkness that lies at the heart of many of the band’s songs.
Wearing a tailcoat and bespoke stovepipe hat created by Le Hat Noir specially for the gigs, Metcalfe’s “Victorian Ringmaster” courted, cajoled and held the audience in his thrall for the 90-minute set.
The seven-piece band, comprising a welcome return by Big John Duncan on guitar, Fin Wilson on bass, Rona Scobie on keyboards and Derek Kelly on drums joined by Jim Brady from The Rezillos on guitar and Marie-Clair White on backing vocals, powered their way through fan favourites.
They rocked the Liquid Room with Candlestick Park, Good Deeds and a blistering rendition of Deacon Brodie. Then came the songs everyone had been waiting for, and if the eponymous Goodbye Mr Mackenzie lifted the roof off the Liquid Room, then the opening bars of The Rattler saw it blown clear away. Finishing with their iconic 1991 single Now We Are Married, it was time for Edinburgh to roar its love for Goodbye Mr Mackenzie one last time. Hopefully it won’t be as long before we say hello to them again.