google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: Tribute Bands feature

Friday, 2 July 2010

Tribute Bands feature

For those about to rock……we salute you

In this small, dark, typical ‘rubbish food, good beer’ kind of pub in Bristol on a Friday night, you will find a whole host of tribute bands showing off their talents to the booze-swilling punters.
Tribute bands are going strong after many years and proving their popularity with audiences of all ages, playing in pubs and bars around the country. Although the music is still out there, the bands may have sadly walked the ‘stairway to Heaven’, so the fans are no longer able to go and enjoy that unique experience of hearing and seeing their heroes in a live environment. This is where the tributes come in, allowing audiences to get that buzz. ‘Live music's far from dead. You just have to know where to look’ said Matt Rosoff of Digital Noise.
The place to look is right on your doorstep. Tribute bands might not be your thing, but the likes of The Bon Jovi Experience, Live Zeppelin and Guns 2 Roses in this left-field occupation could change your mind.
The BJE have Lead singer Tony Pearce (Jon By Jovi) who owns the stage in strong JBJ style whenever they perform, donning painfully tight jeans, leather jacket, scruffy Jovi-do and the customary shades. ‘Have you seen this guy? He’s that much like Jon Bon Jovi it’s freaky man,’ says real-life rock star Chad Kroeger of Nickleback, who recently toured with Bon Jovi. Accompanying Tony are the other four members (guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and drummer) all bearing uncanny likenesses to the real deal.
A 400 strong crowd at JB’s in Dudley sees them kick off their set with a rendition of ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’. What a great way to start, it’s what the people want! They follow on with a pitch perfect go at ‘Runaway.’ It gets you thinking: Mr. Bon Jovi may struggle to hit that glass-breaker of a note these days.
But why would you want to go and see a bunch of guys impersonating their idols when the real thing is out there? Maybe it’s not out there in ‘real’ form, but the music certainly still is. That is something that will never die.
Next in line on this rock spectrum is Live Zeppelin. They are known to be the best south-west based live band on the circuit, but with an average age of 20, they can’t quite deliver the ‘hammer of the God’s’ blow. From a distance they look like a musical hairstyle, but the flower power shirts soon come into focus. This group have a tendency for ad-libbing, which as a tribute act kind of defeats the object. If you’re going to keep up with such a unique voice as Plant’s, while pleasing an audience of die-hards, it has to be good.
Avid Guns n Roses fans gather regularly to witness Axl and Slash (Guns 2 Roses) in all their glory, minus the rib-crushing crowds and dodgy coloured water bottles flying over-head. Un-like real gig goings -on, where there’s barely room to raise a devil hand sign, there is still a great atmosphere of union within the love of live rock. Ok, this isn’t the real thing, but these guys are living the local dream.
However you see it, it all comes down to a good night out with the music you enjoy, played live, and a fraction of the price!

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