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Jim Garten View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tribute Bands
    Posted: February 23 2004 at 08:29
There have been several threads on this forum dealing with 'the new hope' of prog rock, or who is carrying the flame etc; what has not yet been discussed is the large number of tribute bands out there, without whom, most of us would never get to hear this great music played in a live setting.

Now, there have always been groups known as covers bands, but this particular phenomenon of concentrating on one particular band (even to the extend of copying stage shows, costumes etc) has really taken off over the last 5/6 years, headed initially by Australia's 'The Australian Pink Floyd Show', 'The Australian Doors' and the UK's 'Bootleg Beatles'.

Whatever the pros & cons of such bands, I'd be interested in members recommendations of the better bands to see & just as importantly, those to avoid (Can you hear me, ALICE IN COOPERLAND?!?)

As an initial recommendation, I offer for the group's perusal, Noddys Puncture:

This band has been going on & off for the last 10 or so years, as one of the only ELP tribute bands in the UK (there is another called Brain Salad Surgery, but not having seen them, I cannot offer any recommendations or otherwise).

Group members will appreciate the difficulties in playing ELP at all, let alone with the Emmerson-like theatrics; I am therefore glad to be able to confirm this band are, indeed, the puppy's pockets...

Led by the skinny powerhouse that is Tom Szakaly on Hammond, Moogs & assorted keyboards & ably supported by Lez on Drums/Percussion & Tony on Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar/Acoustic Guitar & Vocals, this band gives tremendous value in what is usually in excess of a 2 hour show covering most of ELP's career, and dropping in the occasional Nice number, together with one or 2 general classic rock tracks (e.g. Edgar Winter's 'Frankenstein', Focus's 'Sylvia').

They are based in Rochdale, UK & play live rarely, so if you get the chance, see them! For more info, try their website www.noddyspuncture.co.uk

Here's their next couple of gigs, if anyone's interested:

Saturday 13 March
The Fishermans Inn, Littleborough

Sunday 18 April
The Limelight Club, Crewe

I shall be there on 13.3.2004 definitely & hopefully on 18.4.2004, so if anyone else from the group intends to go, let me know & you can buy me a beer.....



Edited by Jim Garten

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2004 at 10:56

I`m going to see The Musical Box here in Montreal on April 2( Obviously a Genesis tribute band) apparently they are endorsed by Genesis themselves and include a number of original slides and props in their show. A friend of mine has seen them sevral times and his comments were very positive. He saw them do Lamb and this time they`re doing Selling England. Years ago here in Montreal there was another (local) Genesis cover band who called themselves Over The Garden Wall. As far as I can remember the guy did a pretty good Gabriel and they also had this really hot female playing keyboards but I couldn`t tell you what happened with them. There is also a Mahavishnu Orchestra cover band which  tours in the US .I saw them in NYC and they did a pretty good job with compositions from  The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds Of Fire they were called The Mahavishnu Project and they have a web-site www.mahavishnuproject.com if you're interested . It certainly would be interesting to see this ELP cover band. I went to their web-site and these guys look like they're having a blast! A friend of mine told me the Nice rcently re-united for a gig in London. Would you have any lowdown on this?

Regards.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2004 at 03:36
The Nice played a full tour here last year - didn't manage to see them but many of my friends did (swines); seemed to be split into 3, with the 1st half being Nice tracks, followed by an Emmerson solo piece, finishing off with an hour of ELP, including the whole of Tarkus......

I've heard mixed reviews, especially (sadly) of Emmerson's playing, but he's not as young as he used to be & he recently had an operation on his hands, so you cannot expect the fire he conjured in the '70's

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2004 at 04:17
I have only been to see two Tribute bands. The Bootleg Beatles, they were great and Bjorn Again, an ABBA tribute band, er, if you like that sort of thing. Ok, I only saw them because they were a support band for , er, The Spice Girls. Oh heck, I think I'll shut up now while I have some cred left.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2004 at 04:29

Originally posted by StarshipTrooper StarshipTrooper wrote:

I have only been to see two Tribute bands. The Bootleg Beatles, they were great and Bjorn Again, an ABBA tribute band, er, if you like that sort of thing. Ok, I only saw them because they were a support band for , er, The Spice Girls. Oh heck, I think I'll shut up now while I have some cred left.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2004 at 05:12
Originally posted by StarshipTrooper StarshipTrooper wrote:

I have only been to see two Tribute bands. The Bootleg Beatles, they were great and Bjorn Again, an ABBA tribute band, er, if you like that sort of thing. Ok, I only saw them because they were a support band for , er, The Spice Girls. Oh heck, I think I'll shut up now while I have some cred left.


WARNING, WARNING - SPICE GIRLS FAN ON THE FORUM

"STARSHIP TROOPER - THIS IS THE TASTE POLICE, STEP AWAY FROM THE HI-FI, REPEAT, STEP AWAY FROM THE HI-FI"

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2004 at 05:30

No Honestly. My daughter wanted to see them, so she dragged me to Wembley, kicking and screaming. I wouldn,t mind but Geri had left the band by then.

Seriously though, The ABBA tribute band were very good, and as ABBA are Ritchie Blackmores favorite band, thats good enough for me.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2004 at 05:51
It is your duty as a father to educate your daughter into the arcane paths of progressive rock

As a forfeit, you must prostrate yourself before the great God Emmerson and plead for, nay BEG for forgiveness, say 10 Hail Tarkus's, then listen to Tales From Topographic Oceans in it's entirety 4 times - only then, can you cleanse your soul of this vile corruption.



by the way - Mel C is much fitter than Geri ever was...................... apparently, errr, so I've been told, errr, by a child, errr - oh bugger!!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 06:54
Originally posted by Jim Garten Jim Garten wrote:


As an initial recommendation, I offer for the group's perusal, Noddys Puncture:

This band has been going on & off for the last 10 or so years, as one of the only ELP tribute bands in the UK (there is another called Brain Salad Surgery, but not having seen them, I cannot offer any recommendations or otherwise).

Group members will appreciate the difficulties in playing ELP at all, let alone with the Emmerson-like theatrics; I am therefore glad to be able to confirm this band are, indeed, the puppy's pockets...

Led by the skinny powerhouse that is Tom Szakaly on Hammond, Moogs & assorted keyboards & ably supported by Lez on Drums/Percussion & Tony on Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar/Acoustic Guitar & Vocals, this band gives tremendous value in what is usually in excess of a 2 hour show covering most of ELP's career, and dropping in the occasional Nice number, together with one or 2 general classic rock tracks (e.g. Edgar Winter's 'Frankenstein', Focus's 'Sylvia').

They are based in Rochdale, UK & play live rarely, so if you get the chance, see them! For more info, try their website www.noddyspuncture.co.uk

Here's their next couple of gigs, if anyone's interested:

Saturday 13 March
The Fishermans Inn, Littleborough

Sunday 18 April
The Limelight Club, Crewe

I shall be there on 13.3.2004 definitely & hopefully on 18.4.2004, so if anyone else from the group intends to go, let me know & you can buy me a beer.....



Just a reminder re Saturday, people - any ELP fans in the North of England will be missing out if they're not there

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 10:22
Originally posted by StarshipTrooper StarshipTrooper wrote:

No Honestly. My daughter wanted to see them, so she dragged me to Wembley, kicking and screaming. I wouldn,t mind but Geri had left the band by then.

Seriously though, The ABBA tribute band were very good, and as ABBA are Ritchie Blackmores favorite band, thats good enough for me.

 ABBA are RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S FAVOURITE BAND?!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 10:32
Originally posted by Jim Garten Jim Garten wrote:

Originally posted by Jim Garten Jim Garten wrote:


As an initial recommendation, I offer for the group's perusal, Noddys Puncture:

This band has been going on & off for the last 10 or so years, as one of the only ELP tribute bands in the UK (there is another called Brain Salad Surgery, but not having seen them, I cannot offer any recommendations or otherwise).

Group members will appreciate the difficulties in playing ELP at all, let alone with the Emmerson-like theatrics; I am therefore glad to be able to confirm this band are, indeed, the puppy's pockets...

Led by the skinny powerhouse that is Tom Szakaly on Hammond, Moogs & assorted keyboards & ably supported by Lez on Drums/Percussion & Tony on Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar/Acoustic Guitar & Vocals, this band gives tremendous value in what is usually in excess of a 2 hour show covering most of ELP's career, and dropping in the occasional Nice number, together with one or 2 general classic rock tracks (e.g. Edgar Winter's 'Frankenstein', Focus's 'Sylvia').

They are based in Rochdale, UK & play live rarely, so if you get the chance, see them! For more info, try their website www.noddyspuncture.co.uk

Here's their next couple of gigs, if anyone's interested:

Saturday 13 March
The Fishermans Inn, Littleborough

Sunday 18 April
The Limelight Club, Crewe

I shall be there on 13.3.2004 definitely & hopefully on 18.4.2004, so if anyone else from the group intends to go, let me know & you can buy me a beer.....



Just a reminder re Saturday, people - any ELP fans in the North of England will be missing out if they're not there
 You are a lucky man. As I said earlier, checked out the web-site, looks like a wizard band. I love the name, hillarious. My grandmother used to send over Noddy books for us from England when we were kids.

Edited by Vibrationbaby
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 11:14
And here comes the hot question....Have Spice Girls progged even for just once?          I suggest we make a voting pool
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 11:20

Hi:

As a veteran of a tribute band (more in a moment), and one who has seen his share of them, I can recommend the following that I know are still extant:

1.  The Musical Box.  Positively the most remarkable tribute band playing today.  They are, in fact, the only Genesis tribute band sanctioned by Genesis themselves.  They play three "tours": Foxtrot, SE and The Lamb.  They do all "tours" exactly as Genesis did: same set list, same equipment, same lighting and effects, same costumes, and the "Gabriel" also tells the same pre-song "stories" and does the same stage movements.  I just saw them do SE in NYC and they were note-perfect the entire time.  See them if you can.

2.  The Machine.  One of the two oldest existing tribute bands, The Machine has been doing a Pink Floyd tribute for well over 20 years.  They have honed their show into a really great selection of Floyd.  They have also done entire albums, including Darm Side, Animals and The Wall (though not including much of the stage show).  Musically (technically) they are extremely good.

3.  Crystal Ship.  The other oldest existing tribute band, Crystal Ship has been doing a Doors tribute for at least 25 years.  They have the band down pat, and are smart enough to change their "Morrison" every five to ten years to keep him "young."

4.  Elton Jack.  Unless you live in Australia or parts of Europe and South Asia, you won't get to see Elton Jack, since he does not do North America, South America and other parts of the world.  Like The Musical Box, Elton Jack is not only the only Elton John tribute sanctioned by EJ himself, but shares EJ's management as well.  Personally - as an Elton John impersonator myself (more in a moment) - I was not as impressed by him as others are.  Still, he is extremely good, and his show (the "newer" EJ; i.e., post-70s) is highly proficient.

5.  Beatles Bands.  Although the Bootleg Beatles are good, there are at least two other Beatle tributes that are better, according to my friend Sid Bernstein (the guy who promoted the Beatles in the U.S. and created the Shea Stadium concerts).  The Fab Faux tours as an octet, including strings, and is amazing.  However, according to Sid, there is a group called 1964 which he says is so incredible it is difficult to tell them apart from "the lads."  He is promoting them this year (the 40th anniversary of the Beatles in America) as part of his year-long Beatles tribute.

When I was involved in tribute/cover bands - from the mid-70s to the early 80s in the NYC metro area - there were a number of excellent bands.  The Machine and Crystal Ship were already establishing themselves as top of the line.  In addition, there were three others of note.

The most well-known was Rat Race Choir.  They were a bit older than everyone else (most of us were in our early 20s, they were in their 30s).  They played a mish-mash of prog and quasi-prog stuff: Zep, Tull, ELP, Genesis, Yes, Crimson, even Gentle Giant.  They were all serious working guys, and had more money than most of us, so their equipment was state-of-the-art - including an enormous lighting rig.

Unarguably the best tribute band I ever saw was Harpy.  They did entire sides of albums, from The Beatles to King Crimson.  And they did them note-perfect, and were exciting to watch.  They blew away everyone when they performed the entire album of Sgt. Pepper perfectly, including sound effects - in costume!  They broke up in 1980.  However, in 1982 they got back together just to prove they were still the best.  How did they do that?  They spent over $250,000 putting together a mini-version of the entire show of The Wall!!  They performed it eight times (Floyd did it 12 times), and blew away everyone who saw it.

The third best band was the one I was in from 1977 to 1981.  Frost was primarily a Genesis tribute band, though we also did a great deal of Yes, as well as some Gabriel, Crimson and a couple of others.  I was the "Collins" of the band, singing lead and playing auxiliary drums.  We would open with On The Air and DIY by Gabriel, then play a Crimson tune.  We then did about 40 minutes of Yes.  Among the Yes stuff we did was Starship Trooper, Yours is No Disgrace, and the entire album of Close to the Edge.  We then took a break and came back and did a solid hour of Genesis, opening with Squonk, playing lots of stuff from both the Gabriel and Collins era (from Trespass to And Then There Were Three).  Even Harpy and Rat Race Choir acknowledged that our Genesis set was the best one around.  We broke up in 1981 when the fathers of the keyboardist and guitarist - who were basically supporting the band financially - could no longer afford to do so.

I currently front a sextet called "Rocket Men: The Elton John Tribute."  Unlike Elton Jack, our show is primarily EJ at his peak in the 70s, and I come on in the full regalia that he wore: wild outfits, crazy glasses, high-heeled platform shoes, glitzy rings, top hat, feather boas, etc.  We play hits and almost-hits, from Take Me To The Pilot to Pinball Wizard.  Among our "followers" are Anthony Scotti (President of the Artists Guild of America), Morty Craft (former Chairman of 20th Century Fox, and currently senior advisor to Sony Music), and the legendary Joe Franklin.

Finally, B.B. King Blues Club in New York regularly features excellent tribute bands, mostly rock and metal (Zep, GnR, Sabbath, etc.).

Anyway, if I hear of other great tribute bands, I'll let you know.

Peace.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2004 at 13:28

Project/Object: A Zappa tribute band I have heard many good things about.

Mahavishnu Project: Takes the MO tunes (from MK I & II) and though respectfully playing them also adds unique twists, just as the original did.

Back Stabbath: Black Sabbath tribute band from upstate NY

Rondellius: Based somewhere in Europe, this ensembel actually released a CD of Black Sabbath tunes done in mediaeval style, sung in Latin no less!

I also heard of a Van Der Graaf Generator tribute band that was unfortunately short-lived, it turned out to be a rather large ensemble, they did a couple gigs in L.A a few years ago where they did the whole "Pawn Hearts" album and a few other tunes, they needed at least 4 or 5 sax players just to reproduce David Jackson's parts convincingly I heard.  Anyone got info on this?

 



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