Ali Mac Band back at the Crawdaddy Club, Richmond

They're back: The Ali Mac Band

They're back: The Ali Mac Band

First published in News by

For a taste of the swinging 60s, the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond has the perfect offering.

The Ali Mac Band last performed at the renowned venue when they celebrated their 50th anniversary last year.

The band, which have been playing with the same names for the past eight years, boast a stellar line-up of experienced musicians.

On drums is Richard Hudson, who is the well-known charismatic percussionist with The Strawbs and also played with Hudson Ford and The Monks, and toured with Rick Wakeman.

On bass is Bill Phillips, who was with the Glitter Band during the 80s and 90s.

Guitarist Simon Bishop is a session man who toured with Renaissance, High Society and The Monks.

Lead man Ali MacKenzie formed The Birds in the 1960s with Ronnie Wood.

The 67-year-old says: “The whole scene back then was excellent, brilliant, buzzing and alive – just like the era that we were taking part in.

“There was so much going on in west London generally and all the venues were thriving back then.

“You have to remember that the 60s was a buzz and we were just taking part in that buzz.

“We didn’t think that people would be talking about it 50 years later.”

Today the Ali Mac Band provides the same gruff, good time rhythm and blues sounds.

MacKenzie says: “Last year at the Crawdaddy with this band was the best gig we have ever done.

“The band is tight and we always have a good gig, it takes a lot for anything to go wrong, and that was a really good gig.

“It is a great place and Mike, the promoter, is doing a great job at keeping it alive.”

Although many are pushing 70, MacKenzie says the band are on top form and hope for a heroic show.

He says: “Music is music. It is a great provider and a great divider.

“I can still do it and the day I can’t hack it anymore and the day I stop loving it is the day I pack it up.”

Ali Mac Band; Crawdaddy Club, Richmond Athletic Ground, Twickenham Road; May 23; 8pm to 11.45pm; £8; crawdaddyclubrichmond.com or 07879 473848.

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