As much as we love a great tribute – nothing compares to seeing an iconic band live and in of all places… Paris. Here Mingara Recreation Club staff member, Mark, recalls his experience seeing Fleetwood Mac live.
For the love of Mac
I don’t quite know where my fascination with the classic band, Fleetwood Mac started. My parents were into groups such as ‘Bread’ and ‘Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’. Fleetwood Mac never really figured in our house, not hated, not disliked, just not in the record collection. Yet, being a youngster growing up in the 80’s, Fleetwood Mac seemed to subconsciously seep into my ears. Hopping in the Corona station wagon with the AM radio spitting out the sounds of the day, Fleetwood Mac was regularly played. I didn’t know who they were specifically, but I liked them.
It wasn’t until years later, a friend was over for a barbecue. “What kind of music do you want me to play?” I spouted, “anything by Fleetwood Mac,” she replied. Nonchalantly, I typed the band’s name into YouTube – still a very new and exciting thing to do in 2007 – and clicked on the first search result. ‘Go Your Own Way,’ started blaring through the PC speakers. I thought to myself, ‘I know this.’
The next day, curious, I re-played the classic track. Clicking through the 100s of other songs that came up on my YouTube account, I discovered sounds and lyrics that I already knew – well – I knew some words, some of the melodies, but I didn’t really know them at all. The surreal experience felt excitingly new, yet encouragingly familiar.
The back catalogue
Now, I must warn you – there is a danger when you discover (and enjoy), an artist or band that has been around for a long time. The issue is, that there’s a ridiculous back-catalogue of songs that you can become obsessed with all at once. It’s not like falling in love with Ed Sheeran and willing him to release new content – IT’S ALL THERE TO FIND!
You will bug your friends, family and loved ones with the constant and continuous playing of every song that you’ve newly discovered – it’s unavoidable but very enjoyable. Another strange occurrence when you discover an older artist is that you tend to discover their albums back-to-front. You listen to the newest material first, work your way back and then when you run out of albums, you start to delve into curious internet searches for rare b-sides and early unreleased material – you want more. It’s like the ‘Benjamin Button’ way of listening to music.
A trip to Paris
Late October in Paris isn’t usually a warm place. Autumn begins to creep into the lives of Parisians as the harsh reality of the colder months sets in. Yet, unseasonably, the 17th of October back in 2009 felt different, it was warm. The Seine was sparkling, the sun was shining, t-shirts were worn and excitement was building. Travelling out to the 19th Arrondissement, I was almost exploding with excitement and anticipation. I had to be calmed by my partner, as I flung myself out of the metro, and ran across the sunny fields towards the ‘Le Zenith’ entertainment quarter.
And, apart from one ‘friendly’ couple who tried to become our friends to push in front of us in the open/free for all concert hall, the night did not disappoint.
Live and Free
Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie sounded as good live, as they did coming from the grooves of their 1975 self-titled album. It was a dream realised and a night of magic.
I will say, that if you were born before 1990 and haven’t really heard of Fleetwood Mac, go Google, or YouTube, or Spotify, or whatever it is you do. You WILL know some of their amazing songs – even if you don’t.