I guess it depends what your expectations are. The best ones don’t take themselves too seriously
Am playing Dreams on Qobuz now. Is it just me or is it slightly off key? Both vocals and guitar.
Do agree it sounds awful.
Guitar is using effects which can give the impression of sounding out of tune.
Stevie obviously had an adventurous rider for that gig.
Johns bass on Oh Well makes up for it.
I’m not sure why there’s all the resentment about cover bands at all - I’ve had many enjoyable evenings seeing cover bands and many of them are really good.
They’re the only way I’m ever going to be able to hear the Beatles music or Abba or Kate Bush for that matter played live. They’re also a cheap way to see live music. Quite frankly I simply have been priced out of live music nowadays by most of the major bands I want to see. It’s £100-£150 or even more per seat to go and see the Stones or Springsteen etc so that’s £300 on tickets for the missus and I plus say £70 for a meal and £10 for parking - call it a £400 night out - and that’s assuming we don’t need a hotel which easily makes it a £500 night out. How many people can honestly afford that very often??
By contrast I went to see the Rolling Stoned a few months back - £20 each per ticket, I was on the third row, they were fabulous and including a meal in a nice little trattoria locallly the whole night cost me under £100.
Honestly I’m reaching the point where I think cover bands are becoming my preferred way to experience live music. It’s far better than paying £100 for bad seats in the miserable O2 to see a clapped out Genesis or Roger Waters going through the motions performing the Wall without the rest of the Floyd for the umteenth time…
Oh and I’m not saying I don’t like seeing second tier acts like Deacon Blue and Del Amitri at £65 per ticket because I do and I also go to see emerging artists like Remember Monday who I am seeing in London in November for about £20 per ticket. I’m just becoming a heck of a lot more discering about where and with whom I spend my limited money.
Here in Nashville where I live, there is a “cover band” called The Long Players. They are a bunch of artists (15 or so) who have enjoyed popular success but are now more or less past their prime. They get together and play famous albums straight through. They are loads of fun, and their joy is infectious. As long as a cover band is just being themselves and the members have something interesting to contribute, it’s all in good fun!
There are loads of great musicians on the grassroots scene, where you can have a really good evening for a £20 ticket. For a few years I was helping to put on live music locally and we had some wonderful artists, who need ticket sales to make a living. It doesn’t have to be clapped out hasbeens. You get to meet the artists too, and buy stuff from them. You’re not sitting 100m away staring at specks and enduring bad sound and overpriced beer.
I’d personally go as far as to say even the original bands now grey and wrinkly playing to a grey and wrinkly audience isn’t what I’d want to do with my spare time.
The thought of The Jam reforming though a dream for many would be horrible.
Yes… and dont ever let me catch you saying such things ever again Bob!
I disagree. I think [good] tribute bands fill a niche, and in a way are a bit like listening to hifi but when done well bigger and better than any hifi system. I assume that the bands pay royalties to the original composers, though I’ve no idea how much.
As @Collywobbles intimated, it is not really significantly different from an orchestra playing music from a long dead composer, universally accepted as the norm in the classical world. Yes, in the latter case the conductor, and in the case concertos the virtuoso violinist, pianist etc, interprets the music, but the rest of the orchestra just play much the same as the band members of a tribute band.
I have seen and appreciated tribute bands covering long split, retired, changed or dead bands for whatever reason I never saw in their day.
Tribute bands, at least those which I would be interested in seeing, don"t perform anywhere near me often enough to make any dent in my seeing other artists in local pubs or arts centres, while I will never travel to pay a king’s ransom to see any band in a huge venue, which seems to be the way well known bands have gone with live performances - a tribute band playing in a smallish local venue seems far more enjoyable.
As for the thread subject, I’d gone off Fleetwood Mac before Rumours was originally released.
HungryHalibut, You’re absolutely right about the grass roots scene and we go to quite a lot of such events in places like the Boileroom in Guildford and the local Folk/underground music club. As others have said I’d rather do that and be up close paying to see somebody who needs the money rather than being 150m away in an enormodrome seeing a band stuffed with multi-millionaires go through the motions for £120 a seat.
I just see cover bands as complimentary to roots music, they’re all a great way to experience live music for £20 a seat and a great night out to boot.
I have less of an issue with cover bands as opposed to tribute bands. Some of my favourite songs are covers - Kate Bush’s Rocket Man, Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Voodoo Chile or Little Wing are songs that spring to mind immediately. The difference is they’re not pretending to be the original artist, they’re adding their own touch to songs they love. The same can be said of orchestras and their conductors. They’re offering their own touch and interpretation to the music. I doubt any of the great conductors have walked to the podium and said “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Beethoven”.
SteveO, I think I fail to make any distinction really between cover and tribute bands - they’re both playing music I like live. As a Beatles fan a tribute band is really my only option to ever hear their music played live. The Cavern Beatles are the only ones of the many I have seen live who actually made me think that I was seeing the Beatles live and I loved every second of it - quite literally a dream come true…
So I have no objection at all to watching people perform and emulate the bands I love. The truth is that Aussie Floyd, The Cavern Beatles, The Rolling Stoned, Oasish, Money for nothing and Santanaish have given me the opportunity to get 80-90% of the experience of seeing the real thing live and that’s certainly a thrill. Especially when we’re talking about the music of artists who will for whatever reason likely never perform again.
At the end of the day I love the music often more than the personalities behind the music. Jagger for example is a bit of a prat so I couldn’t give a toss if I’m giving my money to some bunch of shoe salesmen doing Rolling Stones gigs as a sideline rather than Jagger himself. He’s still getting his royalties from the public performance of his work, for the music publishing and from the record sales when I buy their albums so he’s not losing out at all.
A couple of years back I went to a couple of Eels shows on The Deconstruction tour. They closed the show with The End from The Beatles Abbey Road album and it was brilliant. What I liked was that it was unmistakably a Beatles song but they stretched it out and jammed on it and it was different at the two shows I saw. You can perform an enjoyable cover and pay homage to a group or artist without pretending to be them.
My brain would never let me think I was getting 80 - 90% of the real thing from a tribute act.
In the next couple of months I have tickets to see Wheatus (£20), The Pretenders (£26) and the Jim Jones All Stars (£16). All genuine, original bands and all of with tickets prices lower than upcoming gigs from Limehouse Lizzy, The Illegal Eagles and ELO Experience. That strikes me as wrong.
I agree with what you say. I would much prefer to see the ‘real thing’ - but Tributes do have their place. Pink Floyd are not going to reform and tour again. But - as you say, some of the tributes are very expensive. Fortunately, some are not so much…
Can also recommend the Deluxe version which appears to include the Live (1977) material.
Slight aside, but its the responsibility of the venue to pay any PRS royalties, not the performing band.
Next week, I’m going to see Wishbone Ash in Southampton. As the only original member is Andy Powell, do they count as a “tribute band”?
I recently turned down the opportunity to see Tangerine Dream…….none of the “original members of the first decade or two” (which I saw on the Phaedra tour in , erm, “seventy something”) are currently in the band (didn’t EF die a couple of years ago?) Are TD therefore a “tribute band”?
Enjoy the Pretenders - Chrissie Hynde still rocks like a good-un - saw them at Portsmouth Guildhall a year or two back and she’s fab!!
Well said, fully agree. The PF tribute band I saw in Toronto was musically just as moving as the real thing. And other than that, what’s his name again … Waters? … guy, I actaually have a good bit of respect for the band members.
But then, again, I definitely don’t require the ‘real thing’ when attending a concert, as the wowness of the experience is (thankfully) lost on me. I refuse to put these entertainment people on a pedestal as many fans do. I actually think of them as people we are paying to perform for us/me, and as such, are basically working for us. I don’t think of them as ‘special’, any more than I would an accomplished engineer, teacher, or mechanic. All of them are very talented at what they do, to pay the bills and get along.