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Grassie

Your experiences of playing in a tribute band.

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Hi all,

As the possibility of joining a tribute band has come up, I was wondering if any BC’ers  have some experiences they’d like to share? Good and bad, funny and sad - let’s have it. 😊

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If it's a band people want to see and is managed effectively you can make decent money, a good mate of mine was in an AC/DC tribute that turned over 250k a year 👍

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I was in U.K. Chili Peppers for more than 3 years. It was such fun playing Flea, really challenging and a right laugh. I’m now in Fu Fighters playing loads and loads of festivals in front of some canny large crowds and it’s the best! Not as difficult as playing Flea but as a band and experience it’s as close as I’ll ever get to the ‘real thing’. A real buzz!

I know some people look down on tribute acts but I’m not arsed, it’s epic 🤘

 

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7 minutes ago, bassfan said:

Think my last post was too late. Walshy’s already here! Stupid phone. 😂 

😂😂

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Edited by walshy
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I have mates in various tribute bands Talk of the Devil Ozzy tribute, Hysteria Def Lep tribute, Hot Love Trex tribute. They don't make huge amounts of money but a lot of that will be down to their agents not getting the good gigs. Some of them have played the large festivals and tell me the money isn't great.

Obviously it depends a lot on who you are being a tribute to and how close you are to the originals. The AC.DC tribute act mentioned above seem to be doing exceptionally well and that's by far the best i've heard any tribute do. All credit to them they must be helluva good.

I've done a Friends of Deep Purple tribute band and it was great fun doing the songs i grew up with all those years ago but the money was ok but no more than most rock cover bands.

There's always work out there for good tribute bands  so i'd go for it and just enjoy it for what it is. As long as you are having fun with it then its good news in my book.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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Let’s be honest there aren’t likely to be too many crap tributes about, for obvious reasons. 

As a musician I can imagine it might get boring after a while unless you were really into the act. The fun for me would be in the learning. 

In that spirit, I did once see a Fleetwood Mac trib advertised that moonlighted as Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers!

Edited by Mickeyboro
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2 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I think I've done about as much as I can with this tonight. Better stop before my eyes fall out of my head.

 

I can hear you but I can't see you...;)

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15 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I think I've done about as much as I can with this tonight. Better stop before my eyes fall out of my head.

 

Is that you doubling up on Sax there as well. Band sounds 1st class.

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If the opportunity has come up and its a working trib I would say go for it.

I did twelve years in Not The Rolling Stones, I played some fantastic gigs around the world and had some great times.

I left the band for two reasons, I found it increasingly difficult to balance work and gigs as the band got even busier but most of all I got bored with playing the same stuff over and over again.

This is the curse of tribute bands, you can end up having  to play the bleeding obvious set every gig. 

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I’ve just joined a Magnum tribute band, which hasn’t done a gig yet but still getting a load of interest. Great players with an excellent singer and a keys player who has a bit of history with the original band (played / wrote on the singer’s first solo album), so all pretty exciting and can’t wait to start gigging. The main issue we’ve had so far seems to be to ensure that we avoid copyright issues with the merch / website, etc. We have had a few messages of support passed on from the main band (as well as advice on copyright), which is really good of them. It is a bit of a strange one for me as it was never a band that I really listened to and a bit of a bizarre thing to get a text message out of the blue asking me to join.

I have a couple of friends who were in a Foo Fighters tribute that did make decent money and years ago I was asked to join a U2 band that did really well, but I doubt that Magnum is a tribute that will make big money – it is probably a bit too much of a niche band for that – but still seems to have enough fans out there to be viable. Hopefully it will help to raise my profile again as well as get to play decent size gigs, so who knows where it might lead to? So far, it’s all good…

Edited by peteb
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I would not sniff at it 

 

a ready made audience that knows the songs and you know are going to be up for it if you do a good job. What’s not to like ?

 

It’s better than starting mustang sally and trusting to luck

Edited by Geek99
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Think you'll find Magnum are huge amongst the rock fraternity. They were well liked musically with almost everyone i knew in 80's

I wouldn't underestimate the interest you'll find in a tribute to them.

Dave

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I played in a Stereophonics tribute band ...well sound alike rather than look alike...

I played the biggest gigs of my life with them ...Main Stage Rock City...I earned decent money ( though the function band I did the military bases with paid better 🙂 )and had fun!.

The best bit is the crowd at every gig are there because they want to hear the songs, so no playing to an empty bar.

Go for it, Ignore the naysayers, if you don't like it you can always leave but if you don't try it you'll never know what it's like.

Edited by Raymondo
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9 hours ago, Raymondo said:

The best bit is the crowd at every gig are there because they want to hear the songs, so no playing to and empty bar.

That's the best bit  - I play in a Grateful Dead tribute, so we are not making piles of money, or playing every weekend, but have a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable  audience when we do. It's a great feeling when the audience cheers at the first three notes of a song because they know and love it as much as we do.

I made more money playing in pubs every weekend, but playing to indifferent audiences drains the enthusiasm out of you after a while. 

 

Edited by FinnDave
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A guitarist friend of mine was the Angus Young in a AC/DC tribute band for many years. He earned fairly well out of it, and they did some epic gigs all over Europe. He struggled a bit at first, with how authentic everything needed to be, but once he got to grips with that he had some truly great nights with them. 

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23 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

Think you'll find Magnum are huge amongst the rock fraternity. They were well liked musically with almost everyone i knew in 80's

I wouldn't underestimate the interest you'll find in a tribute to them.

Dave

I have already been surprised at the interest in the band. I was very much part of 'the rock fraternity', but to be honest they kinda passed me by. It has been cool to hear all these great songs that I hadn't really listened to that much. 

They are a bit of a cult band, not really massive, but with an obviously sizeable and dedicated following…

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1 hour ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I dunno, there are some dreadful Bowie tributes about.

Our old vocalist from our rock band in the 80’s and good friend Paul Henderson has been doing his Aladdin Sane with his band and is widely regarded as being one of the top Bowie tribute acts, I would think you probably know of him and his band.

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7 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

That's awesome. I love Magnum and have seen them many times. What area are you? Wouldn't mind seeing you once you're up and running.

We are based around Leeds and surrounding areas. Let me know if you can make it to a gig once we get up and running and I will make sure we can meet up and I can introduce you to the guys. 

The band is called 'A Storyteller's Night' and the first gig is in Rotherham on 30 March. The website can be found at on https://www.storytellers-night.co.uk/ and of course you can find us on Facebook as well. There are a few clips from (very) early rehearsals on the Facebook page if you're interested. 

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I play in Creedence Clearwater Revival Revial, mostly around Swindon. It was formed as a laugh (the name came from a jokey pub conversation) but we take it really seriously. I probably wouldn't have picked Creedence as my preferred band to do a tribute too but I really enjoyed learning six albums of material and studying those bass parts. It definitely made me a better player, having predominately done 30yrs of originals bands. We have two ex-pro guys in the band too.

It sounds nuts but we were actually taken aback when CCR fans started showing up to see us - we really hadn't thought it through! More bizarrely we've had people request for us to do Oasis covers & been told if we want bookings we need to do a few more covers!?! 

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