Today’s featured band have nothing to do with Billy or with Goodbye Mister…….but they were one of the 22 acts to feature on C86, the cassette compilation released by the NME, aimed at highlighting new bands on the UK indie scene.

Mackenzies were a short-lived band from Glasgow, and aside from the one track that was contributed to C86, there were just two releases for the Manchester-based Ron Johnson Records and a legendary Peel Session which was repeated on numerous occasions, thanks to it being loved by the Radio 1 DJ.

There’s next to no information on the band on the sleeves of their two singles, with everything being credited collectively and no names provided for who sang or played what instrument. I’m indebted to Martin Strong’s epic tome, The Great Scottish Musicography, which was published in 2002, for the info that there were originally seven members – Gary Weir (vocals), Iain Beveridge (guitar), David Allen (guitar), Pete Gilmour (bass), Paul Turnbull (drums), Peter Ellen (saxophone) and Scott Brown (percussion). In due course, there would be personnel changes, while some folk left not to be replaced, meaning that they were a four-piece by the time they got round to releasing their second and final single, including bassist Graham Lironi and drummer Paul Turnbull who, in the company of Katy McCullers of The Fizzbombs (as featured here previously in this series) went on to form The Secret Goldfish (who will be subject a later entry in this series).

As it turns out, I’ve three songs by The Mackenzies on the hard drive, all courtesy of them being included on compilations many years later. I may as well offer up all of them so that you can hear for yourselves that there ain’t nobody else from Scotland who sounded quite like them, albeit I will offer up some comparisons to Fire Engines:-

mp3 : Mackenzies – Big Jim (There’s No Pubs In Heaven) : from C86 cassette
mp3 : Mackenzies – New Breed : a-side of 1986 debut 7” single
mp3 : Mackenzies – Mealy Mouths : lead track on follow-up 12” EP, A Sensual Assualt



  1. Big Jim (There’s No Pubs In Heaven) reminds me of “Bit Part Actor” by Stump. I’s sorry but it does.

  2. And I wondered if the Mackenzies knew Big Jim Paterson who played trombone for Dexy’s Midnight Runners and is Scottish (Banff he came from if memory serves me right).

  3. I remember the tune Big Jim from the C86 release. I don’t think I ever heard anything else by them or about them. Stump does come to mind, Lynchie, good call.

  4. Hi there, I’m not sure if there’s a time limit on hearing tracks but I can’t access the MacKenzies tunes. Big Jim came on my shuffle and I’d like to hear more 😎 Cheers

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