Unseen support provided by The Lorelei - so what would encourage me to travel the 150 miles to Aberdeen in late October in the pouring rain?
Now, what would normally encourage me to travel the 150 miles to Aberdeen in late October in the pouring rain? The simple answer is this: Nothing!
However, this is no normal day because The Family Mahone just happen to be playing one of their last, possibly last ever, gigs at The Lemon Tree in the Granite City. Before my family & I re-located to Scotland we lived deep in Mahone country so consequently we had grown fond of the 6 Adonis’s (their description, not mine) from The Badlands of Cheshire. Very frustrated that they weren't playing Scotland's Central Belt? Yeah, for sure but were we prepared to travel the distance to see them one last time? In a word, yes.
The temperature plummeted the further north we got and on arrival in Aberdeen Mrs. Fish & I were greeted with the only weather I've ever seen there - persistent rain. A quick check-in to the Hotel was followed by a ridiculously high priced Taxi journey to the West North Street venue where we scuttled in out of the rain. We had a quick scout round the venue before going up to the dressing room to see the Mahones for the first time in 6 years. Donal Mahone, Charlie Mahone, Doc Mahone, Rusty Mahone, Christy Mahone, DJ Mahone & Jock Mahone, their long suffering driver, were all there & in a very "relaxed" mood. In fact, they'd been "relaxing" for most of the day in The Prince of Wales pub to pass the time! No surprises there! Friendships were renewed, plenty of daft banter & anecdotes were swapped & a beer or two were consumed. So much fun was being had as I forgot to go to check out the support band that night - The Lorelei, sorry guys!
Anyway, another quick dash outside to pollute my lungs again before the Mahone’s took the stage. The crowd, if I can use that term, greeted the band with a cheer & a round of applause as they burst into "Rolling Home" - a drinking song before following that with "Jack Lantern" - a drinking song. Next up was "The Old Stamping Ground" a fond look back at some of the various pubs that the Mahone's used to frequent so another drinking song. Then came a couple of covers - "Dirty Old Town" - a song originally about Salford, Manchester & made popular by The Dubliners and again later by The Pogues, then came "Fisherman’s Blues", originally by The Waterboys. Although neither of these songs are intended to be drinking songs, when The Family Mahone play them they most definitely are! A slight mood change next as the crowd get to hear the Mahone's drinking love song "Valentines Day" quickly followed by Rusty Mahone's excellent instrumental composition "The Pynte & The Chaser".
Maybe it was because I hadn't seen them in a while but the boys really seemed to be on form to me tonight despite the relatively poor turnout, DJ rapping away at his Drum kit, Rusty swaying to & fro on Accordion, Doc on the Banjo & Fiddle, Christy deftly playing his Mandolin up front while Donal & Charlie provide the bones for this all to sit on playing Guitar & Bass respectively behind them - never let the audience suffer because of the stay-aways.
Next up was my favourite song "Coast To Coast" - a "well oiled rambling" drinking song and "May Fair" (you can get pissed there & get laid there) - a drinking song. Between all songs DJ Mahone explains briefly the thinking behind each song and after trundling through "Cringlefields" & "The Chancers Warning" we arrive at the classic "Cheese & Beer" - a slower paced ballad style drinking song and sheer poetry! Then we're treated to "Raise Up The Grafting Sons" before the last couple of drinking songs "Mahone’s world Tour" & the traditional "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy". DJ praises the crowd for coming out on such a dreich night & the Mahone's leave the stage to cries of "More! More! More!". They don't take much persuading to come back on for a couple more songs - firstly "Meet Me On The Corner" sung by Doc Mahone and then, surprisingly so for me, Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town". The cheers ring round The Lemon Tree as the boys leave the stage for the last time, maybe for the very last time save for a couple of prior engagements, and the crowd dissipate slowly.
t was one last drunken stroll down memory lane for me & Mrs. Fish and we enjoyed it tremendously. I just can't help but think "they could've played a few more drinking songs!"Fishbones Mahone reporting from dark, cold & wet Aberdeen for safeconcerts.com, over & out.