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Real McKenzies return for pre St. Patricks Day show

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Vancouver based Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies always guarantee a good time at their annual pre-St. Patrick’s Day party in Lethbridge, which is Thursday, March 15 at Bully’s Entertainment Centre with special guests, Edmonton ska punk band the Raygun Cowboys.The Real McKenzies Paul McKenzie welcomes everyone to put their politics aside and come party, March 15. photo by Richard Amery
The Real McKenzies have pretty much been touring non-stop since last year’s Lethbridge visit in support of their 25th anniversary album “Two Devils Will Talk.”

“We’ve been touring for about eight months all over the world. My wife almost  left me,” deadpanned frontman Paul McKenzie from a tour stop in Quebec City.

“We love touring in Quebec,” McKenzie said, adding the constantly rotating Real McKenzies lineup will be pretty much the same as the last time including guitarists Jono Jak, and Dan Garrison, drummer Dan Stenning, bassist Troy Zak and Spanish piper Aspy Luison.

“ The tour is going great. It’s nice to see people really getting into the show,” he said.

A highlight of the year was returning to Japan.

“Did you know in Japan you can get a five gallon drum of Saki. So while the other guys wasted their per diems on expensive meals, I bought that and some ingredients and went to a restaurant and ordered a bowl of rice then stole the soy sauce. Then I went back and made myself a delicious stew for under $10,” McKenzie observed.

 They weren’t able to return to Scotland, where he likes to revisit his Scottish roots, on this tour.

“We always meet a lot of really cool people in Scotland, but it’s very expensive to get there. And it’s becoming more gentrified. They‘re tearing down all of these really cool old places and replacing them with concrete and glass. So is almost everywhere now. So it is really difficult to make any money there. Not that it‘s about the money, but even a beer costs what amounts to $10,” he observed, adding that is the reason they only get there every couple of years or so.

“That’s what I love about Quebec City is they have really, really strict laws about that. And, of course, Quebec women are tres bon,” he chuckled, adding after the tour they are going to return to Europe.

After this Canadian tour, they return to Europe for several eastern European dates all over Italy, Greece, Macedonia,  Serbia and Croatia, then get to work on their next album for Fat Wreck Chords

“We’ve been with them for so many years that Fat Mike even likes me now,” he laughed, adding he has been researching Scottish lore for inspiration for the new songs.
“ There’s this town in Scotland called Overtoun. They have the Overtoun Bridge and something like hundreds of dogs have jumped off it to their deaths and nobody can figure out why,” he said, adding they haven’t been able to visit the town yet.

“ So I have that and a lot of fun songs,” he said.
 They just released a new video for the song “One Day” featuring guitarist Dan Garrison cooking for his skeptical and impatient band mates.

“He’s cooking a meat tourtiere. It actually was delicious. Dan and I are actually really good in the kitchen,” McKenzie said, adding they won’t make any more videos for the CD.
“We don’t have any more money and we want to work on the next one,” he said.

 They are looking forward to returning to Lethbridge where McKenzie has a lot of relatives in Southern Alberta, who usually come to the show.

“The Clan McKenzie are in Lethbridge. They usually come to the show, but sometimes life gets in the way,” he said, expressing disappointment that most of the snow will likely be gone by the time they arrive.

“I was looking forward to having a snowball fight with the Lethbridge Firefighter Pipes and Drums band,” he said.

“ I remember one show there that we played with them. I forget where, but it was full I was afraid we’d get shut down because we were over capacity, but someone told us, don’t worry about it, the fire chief is over there behind the drum,” he chuckled.

“ I’d like to extend a welcome to everyone to come and leave your politics at the door and have a party with us,” he said.
Tickets are $25. Doors open at 6 p.m. The show will be done by midnight.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 March 2018 14:21 )  
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