|EVERY CLOUD HAS A...|
|The rest of the seventies passed without much of note, except that Mac took to carpentry. Still the music beckoned, and Mac continued to play guitar whenever possible, and in the late seventies returned to Denmark several times to rejoin Hurdy Gurdy with guest appearances, but the intensity of the earlier years was not so apparent.
Fast forward to the late 90s and Mac receives a call from the erstwhile proprietor of the Shagrat record label, a devoted enthusiast Nigel Cross who was tracking down the enigmatic 70s duo, Amber. After recovering the only existing tapes of the band from Macs attic, and cleaning them up, a 10' vinyl was produced and released as 'Pearls Of Amber'. With a Zig Zag special, 'Catching Dreams From The Clouds' from the mighty pen of Pete Frame, and the graphics handled by the masterful Phil Smee of Waldos Design & Dream Emporium, everything was in place for a latter day Mac Attack!
An official 'comeback' concert was organised in October '99, as 'Mac's Back'. Fans past and present packed the venue, including Pete Frame and Mark Green alongside Bounce and Chunky from the old days; and with Mac on good form accompanied by Stevie Rodford on drums it was a night to be remembered. More gigs followed, from London's Terrastock Festival to appearances in the South of France.
Mac has gathered a loose but loyal collective of musicians around him, sometimes working under the name Mac MacLeod and Silverlining and more recently Neo Camel, which includes Jim Rodford, whose bass playing has graced recordings from Argent to the Kinks, Bernie Devine, an inventive and talented electric guitar player, drummers Mark Burr and Stevie Rodford, Ruth Tidmarsh whose backing vocals compliment Mac beautifully, and keyboard player Richie Stevens.
After another release on Shagrat, the 7' EP 'Copenhagen Lites' which contains 4 tracks recorded in the spring of '67, it was decided that with so much material on tape and demo available, a collection in the form of a journey from 1966 to 2002 was inevitable. Thus the seed was sown for 'The Incredible Musical Odyssey Of The Original Hurdy Gurdy Man' and with the help of Phil Smee of the legendary Bam Caruso this was finally realised and released on RPM in May 2003.
The Anthology contains many of Mac's rare recordings, bringing the story up-to-date, with four tracks featuring his present band and produced by good mate Stevie Rodford... and there are already more recordings in the can.
It's been a long and strange journey, and one which continues... with Mac exploring new ideas and influences, and getting better if that's possible. The best is yet to come, and that's an exciting prospect for music fans everywhere!