If you read our review of the Crazy Cowboy 7 festival, you will know we were delighted to see a bit of rock n roll debauchery being brought to Reading. We were chuffed to bits to see that it was going to be repeated in October and to make things even better, it gave us the chance to catch up with Alec MacKechnie to find out what he had planned.
* As fans we had a fantastic time at Crazy Cowboy 7, how was it for you?
You know what? It had been a LONG time since I’d last done a festival (coz of ‘that’ pesky disease going around), and I was pretty rusty! I left a lot of things till the last few days … that’s normal for me, it’s all in my head and I’ve always done it my own way. I don’t give two fucks about how other festivals organise themselves. All I know is that whenever we get to the big day, I’ll have most things in some kinda order, and magic will always happen … and not just with the live music. Deggy from Gorilla Riot once described CC Fests as ‘A disastrous masterpiece’. That to me was a great compliment from a great friend, because if rock n roll is meant to be anything other than beautiful chaos then it wouldn’t be the rock n roll that I love. I had a great time at CC7. So many impromptu jams, from the likes of Rags, Dennis Post, Billy Tee, Kit & all the others … none of it was planned … Victoria had one of the best days of her life so she told me, she was dead proud to have been so heavily involved in everything CC7 and mingled with every rock star there, with all the backstage shenanigans (we have a LOT of shenanigans, my rider is about 500 times bigger than the likes of HRH haha! And it leads to all sorts of insanity upstairs). Resuming friendships with a whole load of people that I hadn’t seen for 2+ years was THE BEST! I think I spent a grand total of 45 seconds backstage ya know. I was too busy hugging old friends around the venue! Anyway, CC7 happened, it was loads of fun, and it signalled some kinda return to the old days. It lost money but not too much. I’d have taken that, one year previously.
* We know it will be hard to choose but which was your favourite band of the day and why?
It doesn’t really matter who my favourite band on the day was, it was a day for everybody. We tried to pitch a line-up that was a little bit different, completely free of divas (have you ever seen how I react to divas? I live in the underworld! They wouldn’t last 2 minutes with me, it isn’t a state secret), full of colour and joy and fun and brilliance, where everyone got on and no one was too precious about anything. That’s the CC way … always has been.
* How has the preparation gone for Crazy Cowboy 8?
Well, we live in different times still, and if anything, I’d say times are even more uncertain for people now than they were last March. So, ticket sales are okay, and nowadays there’s a last-minute rush, people now leave it late before they commit. I’m fine with that, and not once have we sent out begging posts on social media. That’s not particularly cool as far as I’m concerned and I’ve frowned at other promoters throwing the guilt card this year, it’s bollocks. No one’s the same as they were 2-3 years, for reasons that are obvious to the entire human race, so GET USED TO IT!! As ever, lots will get done at the very last minute and everything will be absolutely fine! I’m NEVER going to do it any differently.
* How would you describe the state of the music scene ‘post Covid’?
See above … it’s not my job to fix it or even comment on it. We’re lucky to have the freedom to go out and make our own choices again you know. Lockdown was the worst thing ever eh? The whole world is fucked, and music is just one small area of that. There’s no point moaning or feeling down about it. Positivity is pleasantly catching, and the world always needs catalytic people who can inspire it.
* How pleased are you with the line-up for Crazy Cowboy 8?
It’s about bloody time we got Spike on board, and I’m really happy with the line up in its entirety!
* Is there any one band you are particularly pleased to have booked?
* Can we expect anything different at 8 compared to 7?
It’s a ‘disastrous masterpiece’ … some other festivals might be bigger or get more press, but they all go roughly to plan! Expect the unexpected …. My team and I are the biggest bloody experts on that on the scene. Anyone who disagrees, tell me to my face!!
* We discussed your fantasy line up last time, but what one band (that you genuinely think you could get to play at a Crazy Cowboy show) would you love to book?
When I decided to do all this stuff, I wanted to make a difference and do everything different from everyone else. I’m told I achieved that with flying colours. I also drew up a shortlist, right at the start, and told myself that I’d work with all of my favourite rock stars or else do something memorable with them. Spike is literally the last person on the list that I hadn’t got round to, and that’ll get put to bed at CC8…. I’ve worked a lot with Tyla J Pallas, Jizzy Pearl, Kory Clarke, Bernie Torme, Danny McCormack & a load of others … sang on stage with Ricky Warwick & Black Star Riders … and Smoke on The Water at The Borderline in London…. I’ve had a few accidents here and there and nearly died … performed stand-up comedy on stage with no notice when strings have broken … got up to the most ridiculous mischief around the country, stuff you couldn’t make up and ALL of is true … and best of all I know I’ve helped a lot of people laugh or smile. Is there anyone else I’d like to book? No, not really … but Victoria, my best friend & CC partner-in-crime, still has a wish list I’m sure, and I’ll do my best to make it happen, whatever it contains. Coz that’s what I do … I make the impossible happen. Other people follow behind, in my tracks, but I did it first innit!
If you want to experience a bit of the ‘disastrous masterpiece’ and let’s, be honest, why wouldn’t you?!?! Then make sure you get your tickets here as it promises to be another awesome day.