Monday, April 21, 2008
Tribute Bands - don't they ever get fed up?
I saw an excellent tribute band last night. Off The Wall, proclaiming themselves 'The Spirit of Pink Floyd'. And super they were too. Really accurate sounds and a great 2 hours of music and lights. I'd link to their web site but that seems to have gone AWOL....
Anyway, I've seen quite a few tribute acts in the last few years. Fun for the audience, who are transported on a trip down memory lane, but what about the performers? Playing the songs of their heroes is probably fun for the first few months, even the first year, but what about after that? Playing virtually the same songs in the same way, night after night? However tricky and complex they are, boredom must surely set in, and how they to conceal this from the audience?
The temptation is to start changing the songs, adding embellishments, experimenting - that's what all normal bands do. But if a tribute band starts altering the songs of their trademark, they get castigated and scorned. Everything has to be 100% authentic.
It's a tricky situation. Some bands (e.g. the Bootleg Beatles) seem to go on for years with few changes and seem very happy. I'm sure there are others which implode or stagnate, too. I guess a lot comes down to whether you can make a living from it. As the Bootlegs do, for example? In which case, it counts as 'work' and you simply grin and bear it, as most of us do our normal labours!!