While I was away the other week and busy seeing shows in Sydney, news dropped that Fleetwood Mac will return to New Zealand before the end of this year; one show, Auckland, December 6. It's tempting to see them again - it'll be almost four years to the day from when I saw them in New Plymouth and that was a fabulous gig.
I seem to cop a bit of grief around here (and Facebook) for mentioning, from time to time, that I'm a Fleetwood Mac fan. Not sure why. Extraordinary band, one of the best (most adaptable) rhythm sections in rock (and pop and blues...) and in Lindsey Buckingham the band has a leader (albeit reluctant at times) who has, if anything, improved with age. He was always an incredible player but it feels like he had to walk away from the band, had to leave, in order to be fully appreciated (by both the band and fans). And his solo albums have improved with time - I love them all but if anything he's getting better, stronger with each release.
He's the one doing the heavy lifting with this version of Fleetwood Mac. People might still turn up in their white-witch/white-trash regalia to do a slow twirl as Stevie Nicks sings Gypsy but listen to Lindsey's guitar solo on that track. He's the star. He's the one making it happen.
There's still something in the story of Stevie and Lindsey too - they still know how to milk that, this band-as-soap-opera; these two tormented lovers/ex-lovers/lovers/ex-lovers...
I'd rather see Fleetwood Mac in 2013 than The Rolling Stones. Have you heard how awful they sound? For proof - head to the band's official YouTube channel. It's clear they don't have a clue...
But Fleetwood Mac still knows how to get the job done. And they've even taken the smart approach to releasing new material - choosing to simply offer an EP, just four songs. I think for a band like Fleetwood Mac - a heritage act, a band that tours to play the hits - this is the right move. It's been 10 years since they released an album and in that time we've been told (so often) that the album is dead, that the industry is dead. The world doesn't really need a new Fleetwood Mac album - but an EP means there is a fan-souvenir and there are four new songs for the gigs.
Again, it's Lindsey doing the heavy lifting, contributing three new songs and a re-recording of a Buckingham/Nicks song. So the four songs are Lindsey's doing - and he nails three of them. Heck, he even does his best to write a new Christine McVie song; since she's still the missing piece of the puzzle these days.
Did you know they'd released new material? And will you check it out? Will you go to the gig end of this year? Or are you just not a Fleetwood Mac fan? Just as I don't understand how someone couldn't like this band are you someone who does not understand at all how someone could like them? And do you agree that Lindsey Buckingham is - in this day and age - the star the show, the one carrying the FM name at this point in terms of the playing/writing/delivering? (And yes, I know a lot of people still go just for Stevie.)
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