Monday, 28 March 2011

GOODBYE BILLY MACKENZIE

Something a little bit different now from the usual kind of Retro item.
On 28th March 2007, London's Shepherds Bush Empire hosted an evening of music in tribute to Dundee's Billy Mackenzie.
Lots of acts turned out and put on a very entertaining concert that lasted around 5 or 6 hours.
Many of the artists who performed had worked with Billy at some stage, the majority being from the 80's era. Most bands did 3 or 4 tunes of their own material and also 1 song from the Mackenzie/Associates back catalogue.
First up on stage was Howard Hughes, Billy's former piano accompanist.
Next was a contemporary band called Mower, followed by an act Billy had actually named, The Subterraneans. This included an appearance by an emotional Christine Beveridge (Billy's old flat mate in Lyon Street).
Then on came Billy's old friend and collaborator, Paul Haig, this being his first live stage performance since the late 80's.
Moving onto a duet featuring ex Propaganda singer, Claudia Brucken and pianist Andrew Poppy. Claudia then reappeared a little later with an act called One Two, alongside Paul Humphreys from Orchestral Manouevers In The Dark.
Incidentally, in between all the band changes, The Associates & Billy's solo work was blasting out the PA together with promo videos and photos of him beamed onto a screen above stage.
Next was a newer band called Electric Soft Parade, followed by another electric act, B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation) - an offshoot of Heaven 17 and the Human League. They did a really cool version of Party Fears Two, turning it into a slow moody waltz!
Lastly, rounding the evening off was Apollo 440, who powered their way through to the final whistle.
I was there, and can tell you a great night was had by all.
Apart from all the music played, what I think would have appealed to Billy too was the fact that the Empire was where they used to make Crackerjack every week, hence my wee link in the previous post!
Also in the crowd, clicking away down at the front of the stage, was famous photographer, Peter Ashworth, who spent all evening documenting the event. Peter was the guy who did the iconic Sulk album cover.
I teamed up with Peter to make this video slideshow of the concert, not only to show how the night went, but because it was a charity concert, all proceeds going to Sound Seekers, a charity organisation for deaf kids and who get a mention at the end of the vid.
If any of you are in a generous mood, check out their website to find out how to donate.
A reminder too that there are a few videos on Youtube capturing not only some of the music, but also includes interviews with one or two of the acts.
To have London put on such a top notch occasion, says a lot about Billy's talent and influence.
He would have been well pleased!
Incidentally, I took the photo of the Empire above - it's not one of Peter's!

video

1 comment:

  1. for some reason was recently talking to Ian Robertson about this night , he was there i was not , but he said it was a great night, think it was when we were showing "Balgay Hill" at the rep
    mike

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