One thing I don’t fully comprehend is the popularity of tribute bands. Admittedly there are some clever names that skirt any possible legal action by any litigious rock stars, and judging by the ridiculous case Radiohead have just embroiled in, that number seems to be increasing. Cover bands would also fall under the net as tribute acts, but with a more varied repertoire. In both cases there is skilled musicianship, but, like orchestral musicians, it is hardly breaking new creative grounds. With so many exciting new bands playing around the metropolis every night of the week, why go out and listen to what you could easily stay home and listen to in the original.
Having said all that, I made an exception for Rock The Boat. Previously it was held at the now defunct (and defunked) Silver Bullet, a grungy music pub in Finsbury Park. The main reason for travelling from deepest south London to the northern realms was because of the musicians playing, some of whom I have come to know over the years of shooting gigs. These are musicians with their own bands, as well as working in the touring bands of well-known artists, who want to get together with their mates for a jam, and have some fun doing cover versions of great rock songs. Unlike straight cover bands, this group are their own interpretations of said songs, meaning that you get both familiarity and freshness with each song. The highlight of the night was undoubtably singer Kimberly Nichole, who garnered rave reviews after her appearance on The Voice in the US. A phenomenal voice and stage presence, which is not to take anything away from the other performers that included singer Jesse Smith (along with other members of Romances), guitarists Linda Buratto (Kate Nash, Get Cape, etc), Drew Wynen (Gelato), Artur King (who was promoting the evening), and a bunch of others whose names I didn’t catch.
Rock The Boat will continue to be held on third Sunday of the month at The Finsbury, and they are open to any musicians wanting to come along and jam, as well as members of the public wanting to come and enjoy some great rock music.
Rock The Boat