Monday, April 06, 2009

Cromer Pier and tribute bands

click photo to enlarge
I play the guitar enthusiastically but not very well. Over the years I've played in public a few times, and even taught people to play. I've never written any songs, and those I play and sing come from a wide range of sources - from traditional folk and blues to contemporary (well fairly recent!) rock. When I "do" a song I usually try do it in my own way, varying the treatment, tempo, phrasing, etc. And, though there are a few performers that I particular like and whose songs I sing, I've never felt the desire to focus on just one of them, or to try and emulate their performance in every detail.

Consequently, I have a hard time understanding the appeal of "tribute bands". I'm of the view that if you can't see the original performer, then it's better to hear their songs interpreted by someone rather than have them replicated by an ersatz outfit. My view is probably a minority one because these bands seem to be popular and everywhere, covering all kinds of performers, those still living and those no longer with us. However, whilst I've never been to see a tribute band there is one aspect of the genre that I do rather like, and that's the names they come up with. The Bootleg Beatles is pretty lame, Bjorn Again (Abba) is better, AC/DShe (female AC/DC tribute) is clever, Definitely Might Be (Oasis) leaves you in no doubt about what to expect, and Fred Zeppelin is just wonderfully daft. If you like this sort of thing, there's a pretty extensive list of such bands here.

So, what's the link between tribute bands and today's photograph of the pier at Cromer, Norfolk? Well, whilst I was taking my shot I noticed above the entrance, immediately over the sign advertising "Calamity Jane", another banner promoting Buddy Holly and the Crickets. I commented to my wife that the organisers musn't have heard about the plane crash, but she pointed out to me that I'd mis-read what it said. In fact it was advertising Buddy Holly and the Cricketers. That made me smile. It seemed an appropriately English twist on a tribute band to the early U.S. rockers, and I idly wondered whether they performed in white flannels, jumpers and caps.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 19mm (38mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On