The idea? Every day in May, to mark NZ Music Month and 38 years of his own rancid opining and reportage, Gary Steel will present something from his considerable behind. Personal archive, that is. The following story appeared in Metro, February 05.
IT’S THE ODDEST ‘covers’ band you’ve ever seen. Four Paul McCartneys, live on-stage, singing hits from the post-Beatles canon. And doing it with a knowing wink and an elbow in the ribs that strongly suggests these guys are connoisseurs of pop history.
Having whipped out their semi-sacrilegious stuff at a variety of weddings, parties, anything this Summer, we can exclusively reveal that the Disciples Of Macca are the three young men from the Brunettes (Jonathan Bree, Kari Hammond, Mark Hall), with the addition of Scott Mannion from the Tokey Tones.
Not that you’d know it: their visages are hidden by low-rent Paul McCartney masks, as they artfully construct sly homage’s de Paul. It’s a set that’s heavy on McCartney’s early Wings-era material, with a phenomenal version of the epic ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’, and later moves through encore-worthy treatments of execrable but unforgettable McCartney ‘classics’ like ‘Let ‘Em In’, ‘My Love’, and a few too painful to mention.
“The idea was formed on a Brunettes tour of Australia while in a tour van listening to McCartney II”, says Scott. “Because Paul is just about never anybody’s favourite Beatle, we thought it would be amusing to form a group that supposedly worshipped him.
“We wanted to point out how underrated a lot of PM/Wings songs actually are, and also thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create an opening band for ourselves, consisting of ourselves!”
Disciples Of Macca – as well as perfectly representing a prevalent knowing attitude to classic pop amongst our younger appreciators of the form – perfectly encapsulates both what makes McCartney a songwriting genius, yet insufferably bland. Was this sublime/ridiculous polarity what attracted DOM to the idea?
“Yes,” says Scott. “The quality of his better songs initially drew us to him as fans, but even the songs that tend to miss the mark and could be considered ‘naff’, are still endearing in how earnestly he presents them. In short, he’s so uncool, he’s cool.”
While DOM might appear to have a limited shelf life, Scott admits that the concept is starting to kick up such a storm that it threatens to overwhelm their parent projects the Brunettes and the Tokey Tones. As for the masks (which currently feature a likeness from Paul McCartney’s first solo album), they don’t plan an update, unless the drummer keeps losing his Paul. GARY STEEL