Big Mac’s were formed in 1990 as the house band for the legendary Hollywood Club in Newport. Within months of their formation The Commitments film was released and the band, being of a similar size and specializing too in 60’s Soul music, were inundated with work, constantly playing in every club, pub and eat house in South Wales. In a short time they were supporting The Commitments at a number of venues and were soon welcoming offers of work that took them to holiday camps, five star hotels and nightclubs both in the U.K. and abroad.
The line up is that of tenor sax, trumpet and trombone, bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, two dynamic female vocalists and charismatic frontman Mike ‘Big Mac’ McNamara. Mike is a Soul singer in the purest sense of the word, thus the band, though more than adept at producing the raw edged originals of Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding and James Brown, are also proficient in the more polished spheres of black music, Motown, Philly, Funk and those glorious vocal harmony drenched ballads. Vocalists, however, are only as good as their backing band permits and Big Mac has The Wholly Soul Band… easily the best in the business.
The Band has played Cairo, Tenerife, Germany and Dublin as well as settings here in the U.K. as diverse as The Café Royal and The Marquee Club. Such far reaching appeal is witness to the band’s adaptability and versatility.
The band is fully self contained with lights, p.a., transport, road crew and a highly efficient sound engineer capable of gauging the needs and requirements of every audience, venue and event.
To date Big Mac’s have appeared on the bill with a vast number of top names, from Edwin Starr, Jimmy James and The Vagabonds, Van Morrison, The Pasadenas and Jools Holland to Go West, Dodgy and Shed7.
Appearances on t/v and radio shows, touring, playing, rehearsing and performing have all served to polish the bands act, repetoire and musicianship without ever diminishing its energy and enthusiasm. There are a great number of bands possessing a similar set and structure but none with such inspired authenticity. As awed members of The Commitments said… ‘We’ve found Wilson Pickett!’
From its very beginning the band has been immensely popular, building a rock solid reputation. They are a firm favourite at weddings, festivals, corporate events and social gatherings where a first class, energetic and wholly infectious good time act is required .
Agents, event organizers, management companies, hundreds of ecstatic newly weds and countless satisfied audiences will confirm that Big Mac’s Wholly Soul Band are really ‘where it’s at!’
JAMES WHALE SAID 'I have to say if I was having a party I would be getting hold of Big Mac's Wholly Soul [url hidden] you wanna dance, sing and ding a ling!'
LOUDER THAN WAR SAID ' They have the look, the sound, the lot. Dressed smartly in black, there is a proper feel of professionalism, with just that little bit of gangster-chic thrown in for good measure, with the heavies on the right on the brass, the ladies on the left on backing vocals, and Mike “Big Mac” McNamara himself, proudly centre stage, with something of the look of Al Pacino about him.
THE STAGE SAID ; 'An explosive start to the evening was provided by Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band. This is the way to play soul and Motown-a full ten piece band, great brass section, girl backing singers, pulsating rhythm section and Big Mac himself on lead vocals-not only great musicianship but also a great performance. I am not surprised that it is one of the most popular outfits in South Wales, as it was absolutely superb. If you book corporate functions or summer balls and want a great dance band, you could do a lot worse. This is a truly hot band.'
THE GLOBE SAID 'Quite simply one of the best live soul bands around.. Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band have become nothing short of an institution for fun filled live music in Wales! Expect a hit filled set from start to finish!
CAFE A GO GO SAID 'Part 1 of the long weekend completed. Fantastic night at the Globe CardiffDJing for Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band. Many years since I last saw them play, won't leave it so long next time they were brilliant, great sound. The place was rammed and shakin with loads of dancers. Great to catch up at last Mike McNamara, top band you have there. Fab night, fantastic band, great crowd. What more could you ask for! Next up Modstock in London Sat & Sun. Got to live the life you love and love the life you live, its a Mod thing innit!'
Neville Thurlbeck, artistic director of The James Whale Radio Show,
said: "Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band is in the premiere league of function
bands. Highly polished and broadcastable."