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L.A. Beat

Real McKenzies and Isotopes really rock

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 It always gets a little drunk out when the Real McKenzies visit Lethbridge as it did when they rocked a sold out Bo Diddly’s, March 6 with baseball punks the Isotopes. Real McKenzies’ guitarist Mario Nieva crowd surfs. Photo by Richard Amery

 After a fast paced, lightning quick and extremely tight Ramones and Hanson Brothers influenced  20 minute set of baseball songs by the leather jacketed/ baseball cap wearing and sunglassed members of the Isotopes, the smiling Real McKenzies took the stage. 

It is impossible to not not have a good time with the Real McKenzies, if only because the Vancouver based bagpipe powered Celtic punks always bring it. Most of the set was dominated with material from their brand new CD “ Rats in the Burlap,” but they also played a couple of their beloved classics like “Nessie.”The Isotopes rock Bo Diddly’s baseball style. Photo by Richard Amery

The new song “Yes” was an immediate highlight that came early in the set.

Other new highlights I recognized were the finger blistering dual guitar riff of the first single “Who’d A Thought” and a fun, catchy new song about drinking too much called “Catch Me When I Fall.”

 The smiling and joking frontman Paul McKenzie showed a bit of the old demon at the end of “Yes” (which is about last year’s Scottish referendum) by ending it with a profanity laced rant against the Queen of England and England itself.
The new material is as punk as ever, not to mention politically charged. The Real McKenzies really rock. Photo by Richard Amery

You could barely move in front of the stage which was dominated by spike and leather and spike clad punks moshing and slam dancing with each other.

That went on for the whole show until things got a little out of hand near the end of the show as McKenzie stopped “Drink Some More,” to snarl at a couple of loogans fighting on the dance floor.

“You don’t do that at a Real McKenzies show. If you do, you’re going to have to deal with a McKenzie,” he growled before starting “Drink Some More,” one more time.

After that it was back to bagpiping, toe tapping moshing good times.

 I’ve never seen a bad McKenzies show, but new guitarist Mario Nieva really reinvigorated the band, jumping off the drum set and later in the set,  onto the top of the audience for some crowd surfing in between playing searing leads which wouldn’t be out of place with a metal band.

Not to be outdone, drummer Jesse Piner delivered a thunderous drum solo which also wouldn’t be out of place in a metal show.

The Real McKenzies wound up their show with an a cappella version of “Barrett’s Privateers” which showed the McKenzies really can sing and harmonize together.

They delved into their back catalogue for “Sailor Man”  and “ My Head is Filled of Music” from their Westwinds album before sending the enthusiastic crowd home with a  good natured version of “Bugger Off.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 March 2015 11:37 )  
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