Doogie White   with La Paz

The Ark, Edinburgh    February 26, 2010

The Manic Messiah hits Edinburgh!

Well if you missed this gig you simply missed a fantastic night out in Edinburgh in the company of Scotland's own Voice of Rock.

It all started with Edinburgh delivering the best it could manage in terms of really appalling weather! Edinburgh can do this really well and does it often even in summer. Luckily this was an indoor gig, but think for a minute about the poor sods who go to the Edinburgh Tattoo every year which is outdoors at the Castle in late August/September, when it often rains. The Crazies, "insanity is infectious", or so goes the strap line for the film!

So back to the Manic Messiah's Show. It was cold, it was wet, it snowed, BUT in the ARK there was a really warm welcome for the sizable crowd who journeyed out to see Doogie and La Paz this time. Firstly The gig was free with donation money being raised on the night for the GART Children's Charity Supported by the members of LA PAZ. The night comprised 3 bands, and a charity raffle where a lucky person won a Sunburst Stratocaster guitar donated by the gig sponsors Imported Instruments. They also raffled Doogie White's T-Shirt, signed CD's, Posters and a Pink and Yellow Ukulele! The local radio station Leith FM were also in attendance for the show.

First up were Fireproof Match, a female fronted, young, 3 piece band who sounded really great and played a mixture of original and cover versions. They played really well and had a great sound, very tight and focused and the tunes were catchy, modern and up to the minute and all played with huge energy. They were handing out free copies of their EP CD at the show. Next up was The Last Tree who played a set of entirely original material. The band apparently only had 2 rehearsals, due to last minute changes in personnel and actually shared the drummer from the Fireproof Match band, for this gig! Despite rushed preparations The Last Tree were basically sound and the material was well received, the crowd cheering and being supportive. It was a free gig, so what's to complain!

Charity raffle followed and with the prizes despatched then it was time for ............

Doogie and LA PAZ take centre stage.

As usual Doogie is the consummate performer and plays to the crowd. His confident relaxed manner comes from the security of knowing he is good at his job and he certainly is extremely good at his job! The voice of rock. The banter between songs is amiable and informative and Doogie weaves his spell over the audience, till they are all involved in the proceedings. The atmosphere for this gig was like a cross between a private party and a meeting of old friends, basically a really pleasant experience. The Ark is not a large venue, so you could really see and hear Doogie working his magic with the audience. Doogie and the guys in LA PAZ really work well together. It's simply just a great band. It's so obvious these guys know each other well and that whole band really works. There is not the slightest hint of clashing egos here, which for any rock show has to be a huge achievement. It's clear that they all really enjoy doing this, it's about the music and the fun of playing, not about money here.

So the guys are really rocking, Doogie is singing his pants off and the crowd are in 7th Heaven.

The great songs just keep on coming. The original La PAZ tunes sounding as fresh as ever, the Liesgang White material showing how well Doogie can construct a song, the Rainbow songs, Hunting Humans, Ariel, Black Masquerade, Deep Purple material Burn, Mistreated and Soldier of Fortune, Doogie sings them all, even Stargazer, close your eyes and vocally it's easily on a par with the great Dio. The band are tighter than ever. Chic McSherry delivers on guitar for every song and it's wholly convincing, these are not easy songs to play guitar on, after all many were first played by Ritchie Blackmore, a harder act for anyone to follow does not exist. Chic does it all admirably, he even jokes with Doogie while he does it, they enjoy it. The rest of the band are all stand-out players to a man. Andy "The Keys" does the very job you'd expect, precise, accurate, Paul the drummer is spectacular as usual and Alex the bassist worked like a Trojan to lock the engine room down tight. Tighter than a Yorkshire man's purse strings and that's really saying something!! Basically this gig was a chance to see the type of band you'd normally expect to pay big ticket prices for, playing their hearts out, close up and personal and for free.

Absolutely amazing stuff.

At one point Doogie tells us "we're nearly half way through the show" and then they rip in more of the same, the crowd are loving it. I saw lots of camera phones, people standing on chairs to get a better view, people rocking out at the front near the stage and generally appreciating the spectacle. All too soon though and it's over, but not quite, just time for an encore or two, before Doogie finally calls time and announces "I'll see you all at the bar"! Now this is where it gets more interesting because he means it! Commenting on the weather Doogie tells us "I'm off next week on tour, to Brazil !!", the audience groans, lucky Brazil, lucky Doogie!

It's one of the other impressive things about Doogie White is he is a regular approachable guy. Here is one of the UK's top rock vocalists, who let's face it has played with and continues to play with some of the best musicians in the world and yet he is extremely pleasant, amiable, friendly and happy to talk and meet with his audience after a show. How many times have you hoped to catch your favourite rock star after a gig, only to find they left by the fire door and a fast car (a favourite exit mode of a certain Mr Blackmore!) Doogie spent a lot of time after the show talking with the people who came up to chat. Just like when I last met him, there's no front, no bull, just a simple "hello how are you", followed by some chat. Excellent stuff! The same goes for all the guys in La Paz who happily meet and greet their audience. Chic McSherry talks passionately about the Charity and the work it's doing and achieving results for the kids of La Paz. The night raised a good sum for the cause and Chic is pleased with the nights work.

Now the burning question.................

When will LA PAZ and Doogie be back to do it all again? Certainly there are a lot of people in Edinburgh who are hoping this will be sooner rather than later.

Always leave them wanting more, the Manic Messiah has done it again!

Thanks to Doogie, Chic, Paul, Andy and Alex for a great night.

As people stumble from the warmth of the Ark, it's out into the Edinburgh streets and a heavy snow blizzard! Reminded me of their gig in Falkirk last year when it also snowed badly and took hours to get home on the bad roads. The joys of Scotland in February!

Review by Scorpioxxs