I’m a keen musician, and as long as I can remember I’ve loved music. I remember recording songs into my nan and grandad’s stereo. I’ve played guitar for the last 15 years, and I’ve got fairly good at it, I think…
I remember the pure joy of working out songs and playing along to them all night on a cheap guitar while I was at uni. The neighbours must have hated me!
I’ve not really done anything truly creative for a while though. Recently I recorded a couple of tunes that I played as an acoustic solo artist from around 2005-2007. They were pretty good and I want to do some more, but creatively there just didn’t seem to be the time to do it.
But I found another place to release my musical passion. A friend, Mr Simon Ball, arranges a regular tribute band night, the Allstars. Now, a few years back the very concept of tribute bands would have turned my stomach, but there’s something about this. It brings together some of the most talented musicians in Leicester to play songs that they love.
Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to play with some incredibly gifted musicians, and indulge some of my rockstar fantasies. I’ve covered Nirvana, Velvet Revolver, Feeder, Terrorvision, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. It’s made me realize how many sickeningly talented people there are out there, who can come together and put together a pretty damn good ‘tribute’ (gah! Hate the phrase) band in less than four practices.
I’ve also realized a couple of personal ‘do it before you dies’, in playing a full hours worth of Metallica, which plain rocked out. A friend coined us “the kings of loving it” due to the sheer joy we seemed to have being onstage.
I also helped organize and played a full tribute to Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, which though it was at the other end of the scale technically, for the sheer unadulterated blast of noise, it almost surpassed the Metallica one.
I think the reason these nights work so well, is that there’s no pretence, no bullshit. Other tribute bands might get paid. We don’t. We do it for the sheer love of music, and the enjoyment of performing to people who want to rock out. Think of it as a live jukebox. Oh… And it’s free.
I guess the thing is, that it’s the closest thing I’ve found to the childish fun of recording nursery rhymes on your nan and grandad’s stereo. And that’s what ‘loving it’ is all about.