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Grassie

Your experiences of playing in a tribute band.

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First band I was in just played Jam songs.

Unfortunately that was the early 80s before tribute bands had been invented.

In those days you were just copying and it was frowned upon!

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9 minutes ago, troubadour said:

First band I was in just played Jam songs.

Unfortunately that was the early 80s before tribute bands had been invented.

In those days you were just copying and it was frowned upon!

Funny how things have turned around but i remember that too. Any more than one song from a band and you get slated xD

 

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6 hours ago, Rich said:

@sprocketflup was in an excellent Kate Bush trib 'Cloudbusting' at one time. Not sure if he still is? Must say I was dead jealous when he got that gig.

Still with them yes, six years now, longest I've been with any band. All over the country, really enjoying it. In fact we've just released the dates for the first half of 2019 then over the water in the second half of the year. Bring 'em on! Thanks for the mention :)

 

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I play in a tribute to The Cult called Cult Fiction.

I had never done a tribute band before and the task of playing just one groups music gave me a challenge i had never had before.

We aren’t a GNR or ACDC act so the demand is not the same but in 2018 we had 25 paid gigs from headliners to festivals and double headers.

All fun and a different attitude to running a covers act.

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On 22/01/2019 at 19:41, Grassie said:

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. 😊

 

 

Playing in a RHCP band, we had to play "Under the bridge". By the second verse, a lot of people were singing. So our singer points the mic to the audience and guitar stops... the roar of the venue singing together made the hair in my arms stand up. Hard to describe, but there was something really intense about having all those people singing back at us.

I don't get that in our originals bands :D

 

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11 hours ago, mcnach said:

 

 

Playing in a RHCP band, we had to play "Under the bridge". By the second verse, a lot of people were singing. So our singer points the mic to the audience and guitar stops... the roar of the venue singing together made the hair in my arms stand up. Hard to describe, but there was something really intense about having all those people singing back at us.

I don't get that in our originals bands :D

 

2450 people singing "i'm just looking" at the top of their voices back at us at Rock City is one of the most emotional things I have ever experienced! 

It must be amazing to be in a band that plays huge venues every gig, the energy coming back at you is quite intense. I can see why some people get a little carried away after the gig (that's a whole new thread right there)😜

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I play in ‘The ELO Experience’, mainly in theatres and the occasional festival / outdoor event. Been doing it now for around 10 years. Wasn’t my first taste of tribute bands, having previously played for a Neil Diamond act. Prior to that I had no working knowledge of tribute bands, and at first found it more than a little strange. Still surprises me that people will buy cds and merchandise for a tribute act, but there you go. 

Downsides for me - playing mostly the same set everywhere, as the punters obviously want to hear most of the big songs. Also the theatre environment can be a bit lacking in gig vibe, which we do our best to overcome. However, the upsides far outweigh this - our audiences come to the gigs knowing and loving the songs, and their response to us doing them is genuinely heartwarming. We have quite a few who come to many of our gigs up and down the UK, and their dedication is much appreciated. Most of the theatres and venues usually have decent crew, dressing rooms and sometimes PA systems for us to utilise, and when I do gigs with other bands in venues without these it can be a bit of a reminder how nice theatres are. Also doing theatre gigs, we are usually done by 10pm!

I haven’t seen many other tribute acts, the first being a Stones band (either The Counterfeit Stones or the Rolling Clones ?) many years ago who were excellent, and The Bootleg Beatles who were fantastic. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the emergence and acceptance of tribute bands, as a bassist in my 60’s now I’d probably be struggling to be still playing for a living so long may it continue! 🙂

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Didn't realise it must be so long ago that I saw the ELO tribute, it was called Rockaria back then but I'm sure it was the same 'Jeff' as in your band Pete so I'm guessing it evolved into 'Experience' at some point.

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On Tue Jan 22 2019 at 20:37, dmccombe7 said:

*snip" 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. *snip*

Have you heard of The Australian Pink Floyd Show? They are playing the Albert Hall during their next UK tour.

Bjorn Again, play Hammersmith Odeon, and Sheppard's Bush Empire, size gigs where they tour. 

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13 hours ago, sprocketflup said:

Still with them yes, six years now, longest I've been with any band. All over the country, really enjoying it. In fact we've just released the dates for the first half of 2019 then over the water in the second half of the year. Bring 'em on! Thanks for the mention :)

 


@sprocketflup - you guys are SERIOUSLY good. I've seen you a couple of times now - Guildford Electric Theatre & Putney Half Moon (with Del Palmer) - and have been blown away both times! I'll be at the Half Moon in 3 weeks time too. I'll be sure to come and say Hi to you afterwards... :)

Oh, and if you ever need a dep - let me know! ;)

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27 minutes ago, casapete said:

I play in ‘The ELO Experience’, mainly in theatres and the occasional festival / outdoor event. Been doing it now for around 10 years. 🙂


@casapete - I saw you guys at Epsom Playhouse a couple of years ago - fabulous stuff - you all really nailed it. I must come and see you again!

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41 minutes ago, KevB said:

Didn't realise it must be so long ago that I saw the ELO tribute, it was called Rockaria back then but I'm sure it was the same 'Jeff' as in your band Pete so I'm guessing it evolved into 'Experience' at some point.

You're right Kev. The band was originally named 'Rockaria', and then morphed into The ELO Experience. Andy (our 'Jeff'!) was probably singing then too.

 

22 minutes ago, cetera said:

@casapete - I saw you guys at Epsom Playhouse a couple of years ago - fabulous stuff - you all really nailed it. I must come and see you again!

Thank you! We're not as 'rock n roll' as a lot of bands, but then don't think the original ELO were either?!!

( Shameless plug - we're playing at Guildford G-Live on 24th July this year ) 🙂

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22 hours ago, Mickeyboro said:

While respecting your evaluation of their musical worth, I don’t think we can deny them the right to continue given that the ‘other 3’ were longest-serving members. They’re in a cleft stick, really - too imitative and they’ll get slagged, too different and they’ll... well, you see what I mean?

I think the problem is that they ARE "Dr Feelgood" and have a right to continue to call themselves Dr Feelgood, one by one, they replaced members who replaced members, but because they ARE "Dr Feelgood", people go along to see them expecting the Feelgood vibe.

In my opinion, Steve Walwyn is a better guitarist than Wilko, but he quite often plays long bluesy solo's like in Mad Man Blues for instance, and as good as his playing is, it just ain't Dr Feelgood!

I get your point though, Dammed if they do, Dammed if they don't! 😒

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42 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

Have you heard of The Australian Pink Floyd Show? They are playing the Albert Hall during their next UK tour.

Bjorn Again, play Hammersmith Odeon, and Sheppard's Bush Empire, size gigs where they tour. 

Both fantastic tributes as well! 

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14 hours ago, sprocketflup said:

Still with them yes, six years now, longest I've been with any band. All over the country, really enjoying it. In fact we've just released the dates for the first half of 2019 then over the water in the second half of the year. Bring 'em on! Thanks for the mention :)

 

WOW that's like listening to Kate Bush and visually not far off either. Would love to see this band somewhere.

Edited by dmccombe7
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52 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

Have you heard of The Australian Pink Floyd Show? They are playing the Albert Hall during their next UK tour.

Bjorn Again, play Hammersmith Odeon, and Sheppard's Bush Empire, size gigs where they tour. 

Aussie Floyd i've heard off but never managed to make any of their gigs but i've seen MacFloyd many times altho i know the bass player with them.

ABBA not really my thing but i have heard of them.

Dave

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1 hour ago, casapete said:

I play in ‘The ELO Experience’, mainly in theatres and the occasional festival / outdoor event. Been doing it now for around 10 years. Wasn’t my first taste of tribute bands, having previously played for a Neil Diamond act. Prior to that I had no working knowledge of tribute bands, and at first found it more than a little strange. Still surprises me that people will buy cds and merchandise for a tribute act, but there you go. 

Downsides for me - playing mostly the same set everywhere, as the punters obviously want to hear most of the big songs. Also the theatre environment can be a bit lacking in gig vibe, which we do our best to overcome. However, the upsides far outweigh this - our audiences come to the gigs knowing and loving the songs, and their response to us doing them is genuinely heartwarming. We have quite a few who come to many of our gigs up and down the UK, and their dedication is much appreciated. Most of the theatres and venues usually have decent crew, dressing rooms and sometimes PA systems for us to utilise, and when I do gigs with other bands in venues without these it can be a bit of a reminder how nice theatres are. Also doing theatre gigs, we are usually done by 10pm!

I haven’t seen many other tribute acts, the first being a Stones band (either The Counterfeit Stones or the Rolling Clones ?) many years ago who were excellent, and The Bootleg Beatles who were fantastic. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the emergence and acceptance of tribute bands, as a bassist in my 60’s now I’d probably be struggling to be still playing for a living so long may it continue! 🙂

I'd agree with this Pete.  The band I've been in for the last couple of years isn't a tribby per se but is heavily themed and entails theme correct dress and acting.  As such the set is pretty fixed and choreographed.  Despite the sets only changing slightly from gig to gig I still enjoy them and find little tweaks/variations to entertain me as a player.  As you say one of the main benefits is the audience knows what they are getting so we generally don't get the 'do you play 'sex on fire' bit and when we do it's easy to brush off.

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Did many years in a Specials tribute which was absolutely brilliant. Love the music, great musicians around me. Only downside was the drink and drugs. Lots of debauched tales I could tell but I shall respect the anonymity of the other guys in the group.

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I'm just putting together a Led Zeppelin soundalike band in Glasgow, playing the music but not doing lookalike. I've always wanted to play their music but never found people who could really do it. Now I have and it's such a thrill to be playing music I've spent much of my life listening to.

Everyone in the band is busy gigging with other outfits so it's never going to be our main band, but we'd still like to to out a few times a year and do it in public and make a couple of quid. 

For those doing it a bit more casually (ie not theatre shows and outfits, which sounds amazing but isn't what we'll be doing), what kinds of venues have you had success with? Is it the same kinds of pubs you'd play general covers in? Or is it other kinds of places? I'm a bit stumped about where to try. 

Obviously any tales of Glasgow-specific venue success particularly welcome. 

Matthew

Edited by magee

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My Police tribute played a beach festival in Crete. Matala, where there are caves to explore. Joni Mitchell sang about them I think, or it might have been Janis Joplin.

We played to thousands of people, it was just incredible

 

Then, one night, we played in Worcester at The Marrs Bar. 7,  yes, 7 people came to see us. They got the full show. 

 

Crowd.jpg

Sting4.jpg

Matala1.jpg

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On 22/01/2019 at 21:37, peteb said:

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…

I absolutely love Magnum

Would love to see you guys sometime 

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2 hours ago, thebrig said:

I think the problem is that they ARE "Dr Feelgood" and have a right to continue to call themselves Dr Feelgood, one by one, they replaced members who replaced members, but because they ARE "Dr Feelgood", people go along to see them expecting the Feelgood vibe. The 

In my opinion, Steve Walwyn is a better guitarist than Wilko, but he quite often plays long bluesy solo's like in Mad Man Blues for instance, and as good as his playing is, it just ain't Dr Feelgood!

I get your point though, Dammed if they do, Dammed if they don't! 😒

I suppose this is the only Feelgood style band that can’t employ a wilko clone...

I published the first book on the Feelgoods, with the band’s cooperation, back in the day. I learned that every member earns from the band, past or present, and that the band owns/ed half of Canvey Island’s property. So a functioning Feelgood serves more than just the current members.

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1 hour ago, magee said:

I'm just putting together a Led Zeppelin soundalike band in Glasgow, playing the music but not doing lookalike. I've always wanted to play their music but never found people who could really do it. Now I have and it's such a thrill to be playing music I've spent much of my life listening to.

Everyone in the band is busy gigging with other outfits so it's never going to be our main band, but we'd still like to to out a few times a year and do it in public and make a couple of quid. 

For those doing it a bit more casually (ie not theatre shows and outfits, which sounds amazing but isn't what we'll be doing), what kinds of venues have you had success with? Is it the same kinds of pubs you'd play general covers in? Or is it other kinds of places? I'm a bit stumped about where to try. 

Obviously any tales of Glasgow-specific venue success particularly welcome. 

Matthew

Ivory Blacks are always a good option and the Ferry might slot you in a s a support to make a start on gigging front.

I know Classic Grand and Hard Rock Cafe does tribute bands but not sure whether they are thru agents only.

Think if you advertise your gigs as Zep soundalike or a tribute to the music of Led Zep then people that are interested will come along.

You would be best loking for venues who generally have a rock background or clientele.

My mate plays in The Led Zep but they generally play larger venues altho they have done some smaller pub venues as an acoustic set.

Not every tribute act looks like the artist they are copying but i have found the ones doing the bigger venues the singer as a minimum looks the part

Dave

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Thanks Dave. I'm not mad keen to get into the tickets-on-the-door / actually promoting a paid-for night ourselves (which I think would be the Ivory Black's/Audio type set up) as that's really more admin and promoting work than I have time for. And I think that's likely to be profitable for the kinds of bands you mention, the ones that go the whole hog and put on a stage show and dress like the band and do it really seriously. That's a good market and I'm sure is profitable, and I admire the commitment of people doing it, but I'm looking at something smaller scale and more local than that. 

Interesting about Classic Grand and Hard Rock Cafe, though. But I imagine they'll be looking more for the full package to bring in the punters, but you never know. The Shed, oddly enough, puts on a lot of full-scale tribute band shows too. 

It may be that there just isn't much of a market for the more scaled-down approach we're taking. If all it ends up being is a dozen rehearsals with people who really know how to play Led Zep that's fine with me. 

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10 minutes ago, magee said:

Thanks Dave. I'm not mad keen to get into the tickets-on-the-door / actually promoting a paid-for night ourselves (which I think would be the Ivory Black's/Audio type set up) as that's really more admin and promoting work than I have time for. And I think that's likely to be profitable for the kinds of bands you mention, the ones that go the whole hog and put on a stage show and dress like the band and do it really seriously. That's a good market and I'm sure is profitable, and I admire the commitment of people doing it, but I'm looking at something smaller scale and more local than that. 

Interesting about Classic Grand and Hard Rock Cafe, though. But I imagine they'll be looking more for the full package to bring in the punters, but you never know. The Shed, oddly enough, puts on a lot of full-scale tribute band shows too. 

It may be that there just isn't much of a market for the more scaled-down approach we're taking. If all it ends up being is a dozen rehearsals with people who really know how to play Led Zep that's fine with me. 

I'm 50 miles south of Glasgow and these days don't go there unless its a particular band i want to see or its mates band and i get in free xD

I've kind of lost touch with what venues are suited to rock bands these days. My days of playing rock gigs in Glasgow was more 80's when we hada good choice of venues available.

Try asking the question on your own FB page and see what your friends come up with. It might surprise you the list of venues you might get especially if the full band does it.

There are a couple of venues on Sauchiehall St near each other that might be of interest to you I know one of them is called The Box and the other one is downstairs and about 2 doors along the street ?

Solid Rock maybe ? 

Dave

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