One of Scotland’s most celebrated bands, Goodbye Mr MacKenzie are reissuing their seminal album ‘Good Deeds and Dirty Rags’ on vinyl and CD November 1. This long-play has been remastered for both formats. The CD version will include 3 additional tracks from those early years, not previously included on the original edition.
The band are also re-releasing the original indie version of their biggest single ‘The Rattler’ digitally on November 5, while two other tracks – ‘Wake It Up’ and ‘Good Deeds’ – are now available to stream on Soundcloud.
Goodbye Mr MacKenzie have been performing a string of sold out shows to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album ‘Good Deeds and Dirty Rags’, performing the album in its entirety, plus a few extra treats. The atmosphere at the packed Scottish dates in May was electric. ‘The Rattler‘, among other tracks from this album, is still regularly aired on national radio. Like the album from whence it came, sounds as fresh and lyrically relevant now as it did back in ‘89.
The MacKenzies play Middlesbrough’s Westgarth Social Club on Nov. 2, London’s Dingwall on Nov. 8, and Corby on Nov. 9 before further gigs in Scotland, culminating in a sold out Barrowlands show on December 20.
The band’s keyline-up consisted of Martin Metcalfe on vocals, John Duncan on guitar (previously of The Exploited), Fin Wilson on bass guitar, Shirley Manson and Rona Scobie on keyboards and backing vocals, and Derek Kelly on drums.
‘Good Deeds and Dirty Rags’ was Goodbye Mr MacKenzie’s first album, released in 1989 on Capitol Records. Recorded in Munich by Queen’s producer Mack, it entered the UK charts at No.16 and the band quickly attracted a large and loyal support. Incredible live shows and singles like the top 40 hit ‘The Rattler’, in particular, further cemented their place on the UK music scene.
The second album ‘Hammer and Tongs’ was recorded in Berlin’s famous Hansa Ton
Studios, just as the Berlin Wall was about to fall, and also made the UK album charts.
With further UK singles chart positions and touring and playing with bands like Blondie,
The Ramones, BAD, Afghan Whigs, Aztec Camera and The Primitives, the band
were building a reputation as one of the best live bands across Europe.
In Germany the band were released on the SPV label and toured extensively around the
country. They then recorded a self-titled album under the name Angelfish, fronted
by Shirley Manson, the Mackenzies’ keyboard player / back vocalist (who went on
to fame as the lead singer of Garbage). This album, produced by Talking Heads’ Chris
Frantz and Tina Weymouth, went on to chart in the US College and alternative charts.
As The List said in their 50 Greatest Scottish Bands review: “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 troupe. 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.”
After the dissolution of Angelfish, Martin Metcalfe, Derek Kelly and Fin Wilson returned to Scotland to form Isa and The Filthy Tongues, now known as The Filthy Tongues. Big John Duncan became a backline / guitar technician for Nirvana, sometimes playing guitar with them live, in addition to working with Twisted Sister, the Foo Fighters and Ministry.