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Goodbye Mr Mackenzie / Seil Lien

Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom (Friday December 20th 2019)

By • Dec 20th, 2019 • Category: Gig review

Selling out the Barrowland is certainly quite some feat after 25 or so years out of action – although of course The Filthy Tongues have been playing GMM “covers” for a good few years now, with Martin usually taking on Big John’s guitar parts.

The date, appropriately or not, was “Black Eye Friday”, as the A&E departments call it, the Friday before Xmas and the most popular one for people to get legless and ugly at the traditional night out…

However, the audience tonight are of an age where such youthful idiocies are far in the past, well mainly, and everyone behaved themselves… including the band. Support act Seil Lien, playing guitar with a drummer and bassist, sounded rocky and rolly, and the last track, a cover of The Passions ‘I’m in Love With A German Film Star’ showed her incredible voice, to be used later to great effect in the Mackenzies’ set.

The Barras was hot and sweaty when the headliners showed up a bit before 9pm. All that BM can say is that is was a valediction, a confirmation and a great run through material which should be and is some of the best songs committed to vinyl in the last 30 years.

Album no 1 was played in almost full, so the glorious ‘Open Your arms’ started us off, Metcalfe in tail coat and bossed hat, like the undertaker from hell… John Duncan, searing the riffs despite health problems, and enjoying every minute, ably assisted by young Jim Brady, what a combination. And of course Finn and Kelly bashing away at the backline, as ever… Rhona doing a sterling job on keyboards plus the afore- mentioned Seil Lien singing exactly what was required, no more no less, and playing the foil to Metcalfe’s vocals.

And Metcalfe just belted it up, no loss of voice, he was the ringmaster that was required, and the vocals were better than ever, sublime when required and barking when needed.

The set was of course similar to The Garage earlier this year, with a couple of additions. ‘Normal Boy’ was enjoyable as a later period GMM song and BM was please at ‘Green Turn Red’s inclusion again, never a single but one of their best. And of course ‘Goodwill City’ and ‘The Rattler’; well, BM has said enough about these in the past, peerless tracks of their time and can line up with any singles of the 80s.

For the encore Big John took the vocals for the Jack Scott cover ‘The Way I Walk’, go-on yerself big man etc, it was note perfect, then the band ran through a cutting ‘Blacker Than Black’ and a celebratory ‘Now We are Married’ before exiting the stage…

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