Now when you see anything on TV or the line up for an ‘eighties‘ festival the bands are always people like Nik Kershaw, Belinda Carlisle or you think of Wham and Boy George. The main stream pop artists that were getting played on radio 1 etc. But for me eighties music was way better and cooler than anything those artists produced. It was the post punk era and the emergence of U2, Killing Joke and less well known bands such as The Sound was what I was listening to at the time. The music scene in Scotland where I lived in the eighties was a brilliant period. Glasgow had Simple Minds, Deacon Blue and Love and Money and Edinburgh had Goodbye Mr McKenzie.
Goodbye Mr McKenzie were fronted by Martin Metcalfe and were an interesting line up with Shirley Manson, who later found worldwide fame with Garbage on keyboard and vocals, and ex Exploited guitarist John Duncan who later became Nirvana’s guitar tech. The full line up was Martin Metcalfe, Big John Duncan, Derek Kelly, Shirley Manson, Rona Scobie and Fin Wilson. Their debut album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags was released in 1989 and is regarded as a classic.
Roll forward to the present and Martin, Kelly and Fin are still together and producing music as The Filthy Tongues. Brilliant music too. There are two Filthy Tongues albums, Jacob’s Ladder and Back to Hell and I can’t recommend them highly enough. If you haven’t heard of the band then you should find the albums on Spotify and give them a listen.
Both albums are on the Neon Tetra label which is owned and operated by a good Glaswegian mate of mine Tony Gaughan. Tony was keen to see the band do a second show on the south coast alongside their appearance at the Rockaway Beach Festival so I jumped at the chance to put them on at The Joiners. The Joiners is Southampton’s legendary venue that has seen bands perform at their ‘on their way up‘ including Coldplay, Oasis, Green Day and in more recent times Frank Turner, The Vaccines and Ed Sheeran. It is a brilliant little venue with an amazing sound. As it was my show I of course put my own band on the line up! I also asked local indie band The Diamond Age to open the show.
I had caught the Filthy Tongues a week or so earlier at The Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh which was packed. They were excellent in the larger venue so I knew they would sound brilliant in The Joiners as the sound in the Joiners is what makes the venue special. Sure enough they didn’t disappoint and played a great set that pulled from both albums with Goodbye Mr McKenzie classic ‘Goodwill City‘ closing the show.
I had the show filmed. Thanks to Matt Hickling and the broadcast engineering students from Solent Uni for bringing their outside broadcast truck and to media production students Peace Olabode, Harry Lamb and Abbie Jones for being camera ops on the night. I mixed the audio from the truck and put together these highlights. A great night with a band who are hugely accomplished musicians and songwriters. Martin is a great guitarist.
Next night the band were appearing at the Rockaway Beach Festival so I went down and grabbed some photos. Big venue and a big crowd and another fine show. As I write this Goodbye Mr McKenzie have reformed for the 30th anniversary of their debut album ‘Good Deeds and Dirty Rags‘ and played some critically acclaimed shows in Scotland and have a sold out date at Glasgow Barrowlands in December.
Written and published by:
Cosmic Egg Productions