Andy Mackay + The Metaphors

Andy Mackay + The Metaphors on stage

The Metaphors are a unique instrumental group with vocals, gathered to extend the sax, oboe and wind synth playing of Andy Mackay of Roxy Music.

Falling into no obvious existing genres, this post-rock combo crosses experimental, electronic, ambient, classical, jazz and R&B; with Roxy's Paul Thompson on drums, Julia Thornton on concert harp, Bristol-based experimentalists TJ Allen on guitar and laptop, and classical avant-garde influenced Hazel Mills on piano and vocal loops.

3 Psalms and More

22 July 2018 | Posted by Andy Mackay

Hi, if you’ve reached this site via, welcome. You will have guessed that lots of new activity is afoot. My new recording project 3 Psalms is now about to be released and although the Metaphors have been resting for a few years, there are also plans for more activity soon. Please stay in touch and look for exciting developments in the near future.


30 January 2011 | Posted by Andy Mackay

Roxy are out on tour again. They are playing seven UK arena dates including Manchester MEN, Birmingham NEC and finishing at the London O2 on 7th February .Reviews have been great highlighting the power and brilliance of the band and the major contribution of Andy and Paul.

The Metaphors and LONDON ! PARIS! NEW YORK! ROME! have a full page in the lavish programme and CDs are on sale at the venues.

In mid feb Roxy Music go to Australia and New Zealand for seven shows from Western Australia to Auckland . There are no plans for any more Roxy gigs.

Maybe the long postponed Andy Mackay+The Metaphors tour will happen .....

Andy Mackay plays on new Bryan Ferry record OLYMPIA ??

20 July 2010 | Posted by Andy Mackay

Welcome to anyone who has come to THE METAPHORS site via the link on the official ROXY MUSIC website or VIVA ROXY MUSIC or ROXYRAMA. Thanks to everyone involved in those sites.

I have read that I played on Bryan's upcoming record OLYMPIA. Just for the record I may have done but I am not sure! The situation arose when we were trying to make a new Roxy record in early 2007. We booked a big studio room at RAK in London and set up to record 'live' much as we had done in AIR London in 1973. We had all the band including Eno and our legendary producer Chris Thomas. We laid down some great sounding and rocking backing tracks but it was clear that it would be a long slog to get them into the sort of perfection that Roxy albums demand, not least because none of them had lyrics.

Bryan also had some beautiful sounding tracks in various states of completion that he had been working on over time for possible inclusion on the album. They had the finesse and production values that people have come to associate and enjoy with Bryan's solo work since the mid 80s. We all worked on them, along with the new stuff at Phil's Gallery Studios for several weeks. However I could not feel the commitment and passion that would get me through what would undoubtedly be be a long and difficult road to a finished album on tracks that I had not been involved with from the start. I hope that bits of my playing and ideas are still embedded in some tracks on Bryan's new album. I wish it all success and look forward to hearing it.

The Roxy project ground to a halt, Bryan decided to carry on with solo work, Phil went into the studio and worked, as he always does, on several projects at once, and I went into Real World studios with my Metaphor colleagues to push my playing in other directions .

The rest, as they say, is history, or, more realistically, a footnote.


New projects from Julia with Solus3 and Hazel Mills with TJ Allen

20 July 2010 | Posted by Andy Mackay

Julia has been involved with a fabulous new recording with SOLUS3. The record is called THE SKY ABOVE THE ROOF . More details at

Hazel Mills releases a new record WHITE RABBIT on September 5th written with and produced by TJ Allen.There are also plans for live dates .

album reviews

17 March 2009 | Posted by Andy Mackay

The album has had great reviews - "...full of shimmering harps, mournful sax and nocturnal atmosphere. Quite wonderful." Record Collector - "...the impressive power of The Metaphors."The Independent - ..."I've barely stopped playing their version of Love Is The Drug", The Rocker.

Perhaps our favourite so far is this **** review from Uncut magazine, here reproduced in its entirety :

" Art rock alert: Roxy Music reedsman swaggers back. Mackay's new group exist somewhere on the improv-post-rock axis, a meld of his oboe/sax with piano, synth, guitar and the divine harp of Julia Thornton (a former EMI "classical babe"), underpinned by Roxy drummer Paul Thompson. Their debut offers a weird and surprising ride through half a dozen standards linked to cities. "I Love Paris" morphs from classical keyboards to surf guitar to sax squall. "Three Coins In The Fountain" is a honking stomp, and "Love Is The Drug" and "Waterloo Sunset" are lovely, ambient deconstructions. The Metaphors' mission - "to create disturbing beauty" - is thrillingly fulfilled in just 31 minutes. NEIL SPENCER "

To find out how to order the CD go to the Buy section of our website.

Listen to tracks on our Music page.

LONDON! PARIS! NEW YORK! ROME!  CD and Download available now

2 March 2009 | Posted by Andy Mackay

At long last our album is available as a DOWNLOAD on iTunes and as a CD to Buy from this website.

Please note that this is the ONLY place to get this physical CD format at the moment. We hope to have it in selected record stores soon.

Watch this space for more info over the next few days and weeks.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up to the Metaphors Society - see the More page to sign up.

The Metaphors at The Pigalle London nov 2008

26 January 2009 | Posted by Andy Mackay


6 January 2009 | Posted by Andy Mackay

The Photos page has been updated with lots of new pictures.Check it out now.

Our website designers at Royal Jelly Factory have been busy getting the site ready to be updated and added to more easily and we hope to be giving you a lot more information about the album release and formats, new photos, videos, touring and recording plans.


9 July 2008 | Posted by The Metaphors

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