Review of James MacKenzie at HMV, Inverness on Thursday the 8th of  March, 2012, by Frank Finlayson. Photo by Frank Finlayson.


It’s been a busy week for James MacKenzie spending his lunchtime doing a week long set of gigs at Inverness secondary schools. As well as connecting with his younger audience he also took time out tonight to entertain the late night, if 6.30 can be classed as such, shoppers at HMV in the Eastgate Centre. Amongst those shoppers were a few of those younger fans who he has played to throughout the week and a also a few friends and family who he recognised in the audience.

His set contained a mix of new and old songs, with ‘The Journey’ drifting out of the shop and enticing the shoppers in as I was entering. In there was a new song, so new that it didn’t have a name, but played from the heart as if it had been an old friend of James’.  He commented at how nervous he was between songs, surprising for a veteran of the Rockness main stage; this in his opinion was due to having so many friends and family in attendance. It didn’t show in his performance as he strode through the numbers with a professional ease, and making sure that he plugged that he was making a main stage appearance at Belladrum this year. The penultimate song was a Damien Rice cover and the all too short set was rounded off with fans’ favourite ‘The Boat Song’, which he dedicated to his little niece who was in with family members. It didn’t all go according to plan though and a broken g string during the middle of this final number led to wry grin, a wee comment but carry on regardless he did, even if it wasn’t the way he intended.

The great thing about playing in a record store, sorry shop (store sounds just way too American) is that they have your CD without the need for you to take in your own. James happily signed CDs and posed for photos and chatted with his young fans. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about things. James, he knows the right way.

James has also recently been announced for Belladrum see Belladrum 2012, the local acts…