Britain Loves EntertainmentTribute Acts - Almost as good as the real thing
Britain loves rock and pop. Britain loves karaoke. Put the two together and you get another British favourite: the tribute band with a funny, punny name. It all began in 1988 with the Abba homage Bjorn Again, who are so close to the real thing that even Benny and Agnetha struggle to spot the difference. Today, tribute bands are more popular than ever and the very best (and some of the worst) can be seen at Europe’s biggest tribute bands festival, known fittingly as, Glastonbudget. Here are five acts you mustn’t miss…
No Way Sis
Once described by Noel Gallagher as the second best band in the world, No Way Sis took the concept of tribute band to the next level when they achieved a top 20 hit of their own with their version of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”. In fact, so accurate were the Glaswegian dopplegangers that it is alleged that they were once asked to step in for Oasis after the Gallaghers cancelled a gig in Paris. No Way Sis split in the 90s and have now passed the beer bottle baton on to the brilliantly named “Oasish”.
Take a wonderful pun, a load of Led Zeppelin songs, play them in a reggae style and, for no apparent reason, add a 300 pound Vegas-era Elvis and you get this incredibly successful Californian tribute band. Celebrating their 23rd anniversary this year, Dread Zeppelin have easily managed to outstrip their West Midlands rivals, Fred Zeppelin.
For pure gimmickry you can’t beat the Jewish Robbie Williams tribute band. A big hit for bah mitzvahs, weddings and birthdays, he sings all the traditional Robbie classics but with a little Jewish twist. Rabbi’s website urges us all to book early to avoid Hannukah disappointment - you’d have to be a schmuck to refuse. Of course, if you prefer the original boy band, you could always call Fake That instead.
Want to see the New Jersey poodle rockers live? Can’t afford the tickets? Then this British tribute band are the next best thing. Sadly the band recently rebranded as ‘The Bon Jovi Experience’ and promptly denied themselves their greatest asset – their punny name. Fronted by the wild man of tribute rock himself Jon By Jovi (aka Tony), he bears uncanny resemblance to the real thing. Just ask Nickelback’s Chad Kroege, who according to the band’s website, has said of Tony: “Have you seen this guy? He looks so much like Jon Bon Jovi, it’s freaky man”.
The stuff of tribute band legend, this chancer would sing hits like ‘Mysterious Girl’ and, er, ‘Mysterious Girl’ to those who just couldn’t get to see the real Peter Andre. Rather than go down the gym to get that Andre six-pack, however, Andrex reportedly would instead sellotape six rolls of toilet paper to his torso. Now that is a fitting tribute.
Honourable mentions must also go to:
There most be loads more. Tell us which tribute bands you rate…
By Matthew Weiner