My wife was having a Body Shop party at our house tonight so I had known for some time that I would have to vacate the premises. My choices? Go to the pub, on my own, to watch Leeds United play their first ever match in the first round of the F.A. Cup; Mostly Autumn, live at the Grand Opera House, again on my own; Whole Lotta Led at Fibbers, with friends.
In the past I had expressed disdain (bordering on contempt) for tribute bands. If they are that talented, why limit themselves to playing one group’s songs. To me, it smacks slightly of laziness. However, because a) I didn’t fancy standing on my own in pub watching what could have turned out to be one of LUFC’s biggest embarrassments and b) wanted to avoid being in close contact with Mostly Autumn CDs (because they are all on my Christmas list…) I decided to head to Fibbers.
Sort of a bad choice, really. The vocalist was obviously having problems with the sound (apparently he couldn’t hear himself. At times I though that was probably a blessing…) and, overall, I thought the performance was a bit nondescript. They certainly weren’t as good as I had been led (no pun intended) to believe. Being completely honest, the two best bits of the whole show were when the musicians were probably being themselves. The instrumental section of No Quarter rocked and, while I have only heard two version of what is my third favourite Led Zeppelin song, it sounded nothing like either. After a rather bland version of Stairway to Heaven, the band kicked into Moby Dick, featuring an absolutely brilliant drum solo. Again, I don’t think it was supposed to be a copy of any particular Bonham solo and I have no idea whether it was technically good. What it was, to this totally non-musical music fan, was truly impressive – I don’t think I could move my arms continually for the length of time that this drummer did, let alone keep to the many rhythms he used. I like to watch drummers but, unfortunately, couldn’t see much of this one from where I was standing.
At the end of the show we wandered round to the Swan to see Hazzard County. Before anybody points out that they are also a covers band, they cover lots of artists and are, therefore, not a tribute band. We arrived just in time for the first set to end and wondered for a few minutes where Chris was, before realising that he was probably playing keyboards round at the Grand Opera House. The second set proved that they were as good as ever and that they were almost totally ignoring the play-list on the floor. Thankfully, we had taken our usual position just in front of the band so, when Tom started his staccato drumming for Who Do You Love, I was able to watch him in full flow.
So, a night of two halves, really.
Oh, yeah – Leeds were held to a nil-nil draw away at Hereford.