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Celtic-folk and Americana band Johnny Mac and the Faithful will be the special guest act before Rod Stewart performs at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena next week.

The Glasgow-based band were asked to perform at Rod’s outdoor stadium shows for the Rod Stewart Live in Concert tour in May, June and July after attracting the attention of Rod.

Johnny Mac and the Faithful previously opened for Rod at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro in 2017 at a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Celtic Football Club’s 1967 European Cup victory. A friendship was born from that and Rod invited frontman John McLaughlin to co-write the song Julia which appears on his latest number one album Blood Red Roses.

And after impressing the international rock legend while performing across nine outdoor stadium shows, Rod has now asked the band to join him for the Newcastle show on Tuesday July 9..

Tickets are on sale now!

Johnny Mac and the Faithful are a band of lifelong friends who can kickstart any party with their jamboree of celtic-folk and Americana.  

Made up of John McLaughlin (lead vocalist), Gordy Goudie (lead guitar), Stevie Morrison (drums), Tam McKinley (bass), Gary McDowell (guitar), Terry Dourish (keys and accordion) and Lisa Petticrew (fiddle), the band are a tombola of musicians with Scottish and Irish roots. Like a raggle-taggle hoard of troubadours they roll from gig to gig, playing their own brand of uplifting, joyful 3-chord wonders, covering Irish folk classics such as Ewan MacColl’s Dirty Old Town and Steve Earle’s Galway Girl as well as a string of original songs including new single Took a train and You make my Monday morning feel like Saturday night.

Their first ever EP Took a Train is out now on all digital platforms with plans to launch their first album very soon.

Frontman John McLaughlin is an award-winning songwriter and producer who has penned hits for artists such as Westlife, Busted, Echo & The Bunnymen, Shane MacGowan and Sandi Thom.

John said: “Individually we have been blessed to have played and worked with some of greatest and infamous stars of our time from the Pogues iconic frontman Shane MacGowan, to the enigmatic Echo and the Bunnymen, Glasgow’s own sons the Simple Minds and Ireland’s finest stompers The Dubliners.   

“Our proudest moment to date though, as a band, has to be supporting global rock icon Sir Rod Stewart at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro in 2017.  It was for Celtic Football Club’s concert to honour the 50th anniversary of their 1967 European Cup winning team The Lisbon Lions.”

Rod watched their performance at the Hydro show and realised they were the same band he’d heard blaring through the tannoy at Celtic on match days.

John added: “We couldn’t believe it… Rod Stewart the world-famous rock legend was digging our wee Celtic rock band… that was mind blowing! 

“A few months after the Hydro gig Rod contacted me about doing a co-write for a song. Firstly, as a lifelong fan I was ecstatic. Me and my writing partner Dave Thomas had started a tune and Rod loved the melody and in a flash of inspiration Rod had written the lyrics for Julia which he then included on his no1 Album Blood Red Roses

“As a songwriter I couldn’t have been prouder to have my name alongside Rod’s on his record, it truly was a dream come true. To get to work with your Rock’n’Roll hero…Wow, that really doesn’t happen so much, and then to discover what an absolute diamond of a guy he was that was a lovely bonus. 

“Now we are just loving be up on stage. To be on tour with Rod and play our music to hundreds of thousands of his fans makes us feel very proud, blessed and thankful.”


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