Often held up as the band that always missed the boat, Edinburgh’s GOODBYE MR MACKENZIE reckon they‘re a success story after all. Singer Martin Metcalfe tells Paul W. Hullah why he has rejected
rock‘s Faustian pact in favour of his own principles.
aybe l‘m suffering from a lack of desire out-takes collection. attracted critical acclaim to to be a star. but with the number of ; match its predecessor. Quantity ofquality has erackpots who approach me in the never been a problem. And yet. . . street already. I‘m thinking “What the ‘Well. interviewers always end up asking us fuck is it going to be like when we “What‘s gone wrong?“ and so we end up really do make it?!“ Because it‘s all sounding like a real bunch of whingers. I don‘t happened so slowly and gradually for us. with all mind that. but I do find it strange that people still the setbacks. the whole idea of us getting there push us as The Band Most Likely To Succeed. As has become increasingly ominous for me. It‘s like ? far as it goes. we‘ve managed to scramble our way there‘s this dark. pulsating thing just around the . to the banks of America. which is further than next corner. waiting. And it‘s evil. . .‘ most bands get, and we‘re starting brand new Mmmm. It‘s a wicked game. this rock‘n‘roll over there. Anyway. I still believe that we are the
thing. and Martin Metcalfe. finespun frontman ; band most likely to succeed. I think ifwe get just with Edinburgh‘s Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. has 3 one single in the Top 20, then the floodgates will done his share of patient suffering. Tantalisingly ! open,
delayed fora painful twelve months. the band‘s ‘Apart from that getting-banned shit,‘ he
third LP. Hammer and Tongs. is finally on its way l continues, ‘which is all old news anyway, we‘ve t0 the shops. The lengthy adjournment in Q had problems because we don‘t fit anyone‘s idea proceedings was not the Mackenzies‘ fault — j ofwhat a band should be, We‘ve made all the recording and artwork were completed last ; “wrong”. non-careerist moves and.
March. and then came a change oflabel —— but is, personality-wise. we‘re a curious mixture. Also, nonetheless. typical ofthe ill-starred sextet‘s we don‘t look like brothers and sisters, which is fortunes during a four-year career that has seen what a lot of major label bands since the Beatles clarity of vision and purpose persistently fogged have tried to do, or like off-dutv G. I .s like these by bureaucratic hold-ups and over zealous media so-called “rock” groups. [suppose we‘re an censorship. Three albums in four years is still anti-shapist band, but it‘s all been by aCCident. pretty good going (£15k the Blue Nile) but the We‘ve never had a blueprint to aspire to. I mean. Mack lads and lasses‘ staunch refusal to imagine making a blueprint for a band like us; it compromise has repeatedly applied the brakes to would be a fucking weird blueprint. You don‘t get
their progress right from the earliest days. Goodbye Mr Mackenzie‘s debut single. ‘The Rattler‘. a joy(less) ride around macho
many bands with a really big. fat guitarist. a bald bassist. a skinny. hunched-up singer, a normal-looking drummer and two mad-looking
hypocrisy. was banned by Radio One. setting a females.‘
trend which has had the media-types brandishing True. Metcalfe‘s manner is that ofsomeone ten-foot bargepoles at the group ever since. They with a reasoned understanding of his position in are on their third record label (EMI — Parlophone the greater scheme of things. Fidgety. but never — MCA Worldwide) in as many albums and the nervous. he does not act, nor speak. like a man moves have all been acrimonious. Yet there can frightened ofwhat‘s coming around the next
be no doubting the quality of the band‘s recorded corner. He seems a resilient soul. and this quality (and live) output. Every major-label Mackenzie has served Goodbye Mr Mackenzie well through single has charted. Their first LP. 1989‘s a catalogue of setbacks he now dismisses with a arrogantly powerful Good Deeds and Dirty Rags. wide grin. He might well do so: whatever the long entered the national listing at Number 26. Fish term future may hold, the band with no blueprint Heads and Tails, a quieter. more esoteric have come up with the goods once more on the
6 The List 25 January — 7 February 1991