A-Z of Dead Man Singing: T

A-Z of Dead Man Singing: T

103 days ago

T is for Tribute Acts, an integral part of the concept of Dead Man Singing. I have a confession to make: I have never seen an actual tribute act live. I’ve never quite got over the idea that a tribute act is a pale imitation of the real thing, a facsimile rather than the original, a lesser entity. Nevertheless, I can see that they have a lot to offer, particularly when the act they pay homage to are no longer a going live concern.

Aside from the many Dave Masters tribute shows that feature in Dead Man Singing, there’s one other tribute show, by Red Stewart and the Two-Faced Faces. Here’s my attempt at conveying what people might get out of a tribute act:

It was a fantastic night. Red Stewart and the Two-Faced Faces strode onto the Mean Fiddler stage with all the swagger of their namesakes, and right from the first note their set had the laddish playfulness that [Dave] remembered. They included a mixture of Faces favourites and Rod solo singles, but nothing after he sold his soul to spandex trousers in America. They didn’t take themselves too seriously and band and audience alike seemed committed to having a good time. They even got a John Peel lookalike to come onstage miming with a mandolin for ‘Maggie May’, in honour of the famous Top of the Pops appearance. In short, everyone left fully satisfied. It wasn’t the Faces, but it was the next best thing.

I had originally intended to have more tribute acts scattered throughout the book, and I was looking forward to rising to the challenge of creatively naming the bands. Sadly, whenever I came up with something that I was pleased with – Proxy Music was a particular favourite – I discovered that I had been beaten to the punch and that there was already a band working the real-life tribute circuit using the name. In the end, I realised that the narrative of Dead Man Singing didn’t require more tribute acts – it was all about Dave – so I let that one fall by the wayside.

Have you ever been to see a tribute act? What do you get out of that live experience in comparison to a ‘real’ artist? Which artist would you love to see getting the tribute act treatment and what would you call them?

Comments
Gore Edwards.

Not big on tribute bands. I will say I saw the style council 3 times and ok not earth shattering.. I saw the style councillors and great . A nice update of the original sound. The south should be a tribute act.they now got not one member of beautiful south in band.

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