30 Silver Street, Reading, RG1 2ST

Tribute Night mailout: Sandinista Night Fever (sent 09-Feb-14)

My dear Tribeauties

It was really rather chilly on Friday evening when I arrived at the Rising Sun Arts Centre.  I put the heaters on, worrying that there might not be time to get the room comfortably warm enough for playing and singing.  A few short hours later and you could have been forgiven for thinking it was a midsummer's night, so hot and heaving with eager, sweaty Clash fans had the room become.  The heaters were off, the ceiling fan was on and people had to go outside to find relief from the sticky, unrelenting heatwave indoors!

Crumbs.  What an incredible night.  What an armoury of brilliant Clash covers, some exhilaratingly rocking, some intriguingly inventive, some chin-strokingly leftfield, some downright hilarious.  I am always pleasantly surprised by the different approaches everyone takes on these nights.  I floated through Friday night on a little wave of euphoria.  As compère Damien exclaimed, you wait nearly 8 years for a horn section and two turn up at once!  Trumpets, saxophone, flugelhorn, metallophone, double bass, ukulele... we even had a kazoo ensemble!  I kid you not.  Joe Strummer would have been so proud.

And so another fabulous night fades into the archives and it is time once again to board the Tribute Train.  We must wave a fond farewell to Clashville UK and look ahead to our next destination.  As we pull out of the station and pick up a head of steam, trundling ever onwards through the landscape of popular music, I can reveal a little more of our sprawling itinerary and announce that the next stop is The Bee Gees.

The Bee Gees Tribute Night – Saturday 17 May 2014

The Bee Gees tick so many boxes that make them ideal for Tribute Night.  They have been around for an impressive length of time, with a recording career that straddles five decades.  They have been astonishingly prolific, stockpiling a staggering arsenal of quality pop songs for themselves while still having enough spare material to provide a shed load of hits for Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Frankie Valli, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers and others.  They’re one of those artists who will make you think, “They wrote this?  I didn’t know that was them too!”  They are also one of those artists who, despite having an instantly recognisable sound, have actually covered a lot of ground in their time, producing music in a variety of genres while maintaining a core identity.  Their tight-as-disco-trousers three-part vocal harmonies and piercing falsettos (falsetti?) might not be to everybody’s tastes, but, love them or loathe them, they have earned their place in the pop pantheon.

I already have my work cut out this afternoon wading through the deluge of excitable song requests that inevitably follows the big reveal at the end of Friday night, but I shall reply to all of those who have already contacted me.  If you fancy being involved with this one, then send me an email here and I'll chuck you on the list.

As previously notified, in a break from the traditional pattern, the spring edition of Tribute Night will not be on the first Friday of May.  The first Friday of May coincides this year with the May Day weekend and, therefore, Reading Beer Festival, an event that often takes away some of our frequent Tribute Night performers, often at short notice, causing last minute commitment clashes.  To avoid such clashes, the Rising Sun Arts Centre has kindly re-accommodated us later in the month.

I'll be back with an update when there's an update to report.

If you have had enough and want no more of this frivolous Tribute Night silliness, simply email me with the subject "When the feeling's gone and you can't go on" and I shall remove you from the mailing list.

Bye bye for now.