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L.A. Beat

Real McKenzies provide a beer fueled good night of Celtic punk

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The Real McKenzies’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s day party in Lethbridge is something I look forward to every year. I arrive late and missed the Lethbridge Firefighters  Pipes and Drums and just missed Edmonton horn powered punks the Raygun Cowboys.The Real McKenzies’ Paul McKenzie at Bully’s Entertainment Centre, March 15. Photo by Richard Amery

I usually rate live shows in terms of how many beers I drink during their set, the better the the band, the more beer I drink. The Real McKenzies are usually a four beer band, this time, they were five beers, even if one of them was a light beer.

The Real mcKenzies playing all of their favourites at Bully’s Entertainmnet Centre. Photo by Richard Amery
 This year they were a force of nature,  March 15 at Bully’s Entertainment Centre.

Bagpipes wailed and echoed through the room over a wall of power from three guitarists and a thundering bassist and drummer who shouted out harmonies as frontman Paul McKenzie bestrode the stage bellowing out music from throughout the McKenzies’ 25 plus year career, but mostly from their most recent CD “Two Devils Will Talk.”

 The singles “Due West,” “Seafarers” and “One Day” came early on in the set  and they went back to their Westwinds album” for one of my favourites “ I Do What I Want.”

“Scots Wh Ha’e” had most of the 100 or so people there shouting along and sparked a frenetic mosh pit.
 They dug deep into their catalogue, though because the room was so echoey, so it was difficult to tell which song was which.

 The McKenzies were super tight and played super fast as usual.

Paul McKenzie talked about Scotland and the Loch Ness monster, which segued into “Nessie.”
Another of my favourites “Drink Some More, was midway through the set, which  McKenzie introduced by talking about the dangers of fentanyl and observed his drug of choice was, of course, beer.

 McKenzie talked about all of the fantastic musicians who passed on in the past couple of years lead the band in a musical tribute to them.
 They ended their show with  the sassy “Fuck the Real McKenzies,” but were called back for an encore, of course.

They showed off just how talented of vocalists they are on a gorgeous a capella The real mcKenzies at Bully’s Entertainment Centre. photo by Richard Ameryversion of Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers.”
 They  turned things up for the fast paced punk of a Turbonegro cover and called it a night with one more song just before 11 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 13:58 )  
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