Fruits de Mer Records - Psychedelia, Krautrock, Progressive Rock, Acid-Folk, R&B, Spacerock and Vinyl Heaven
tribute not the Beatles

Luke O'Like pays homage to tribute acts

Tribute bands - because they sound better after four pints of bitter

Fruits de Mer is arguably in a conservatory of biblical proportions, armed with a large rockery, when it comes to passing comment on the subject, so I'll restrict myself to tribute bands playing live - the scourge of and/or lifeblood of small venues who know that a new and unknown prog/psych/almost-any-genre-you-care-to-mention band will be outsold 5-to-1 by the same band masquerading as Queen, Yes, AC/DC, Bowie, The Smiths or Gentle Giant (OK, maybe not Gentle Giant).

Are we, the paying public, so lazy and conservative that we'll only get off our collective arses to see probably well-meaning bands pretending to be our idols? Yep.

Of course, these idols have either died or priced themselves out of the pub circuit and any live music is better than none - but it all gets a bit too much when fans of the tribute band act as if they are seeing the real thing, and even worse, the bands themselves start thinking they are calling up the spirit of The Beatles, T. Rex, Led Zep...or Spirit.

Naming tribute bands is a subtle balancing act - too obvious and you risk a cease-and-desist injunction, too witty and a big chunk of your potential audience will miss the let's hear it for chill-out pioneers The Beatless, William Morris-sponsored Ciggy Stardust and Hungary's The Whu, not to mention Slack Alice In Chains, Stan Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, Poxy Music, The Andy Partridge Family, Gang Green On Red, The Frank Spencer Blues Explosion, Motörheadache and Satan Kidney Pie (thank you, Craig)

editor's note: some or all of this might not be true

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