Rumours of Fleetwood Mac make their annual return visit to The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, with their current tour project –“40 Years of Rumours”. Yes folks, for those of us old enough to remember the event, it might seem impossible that “Rumours” was released way back in 1977, but it was, and apart from the original band, ROFM are as close as any of us are going to get to hearing this iconic album reproduced on stage in its entirety – and with the inclusion of “Silver Springs”. The fact that this track was left off the original album (added many years later on a re-mastered album release), is an indicator of just how strong the other songs on this album are.
“Rumours” is an iconic album (whether you are a fan of FM or not, that fact is hard to ever dispute), and due to a combination of almost magical songwriting skills and massive worldwide sales (45 million and counting to date) and unbelievable radio airplay volumes, pretty much every track on the album is known, if not by name, then by its music. Look at just a few on the list – “Second Hand News”, "Don't Stop", "Songbird" and “The Chain”. Once again musical director Alan Cosgrove (drums) has done not only an amazing job re-creating the sounds of FM, but bringing this note for note “live” performance of the album to the stage.
If you are going to form a tribute band then there are a few rules that you have to always follow. Rule 1. Choose a band with a strong back catalogue of classic songs easily identifiable to an audience. Fleetwood Mac certainly fit that rule.
Rule 2. Have the musical talent to play your chosen band’s music live. Rumours of Fleetwood Mac without any doubt fit that rule, and when you take into account the level of musicianship, musical complexity of songs and the sheer range in styles of them over the years, then being a Fleetwood Mac tribute band and doing it to this level is not an easy task. ROFM are very, very good at what they do and this is why they are one of the very best and most successful tribute bands out there.
Of course, with such a huge back catalogue to select a show from, ROFM have the luxury of always being able to change the set list on their tours, but there are always songs that simply have to be there for any audience, and “Little Lies”, “Rhiannon” and “Seven Wonders” were just a few of the crowd pleasers in this evening’s playlist.
For myself, Fleetwood Mac are always the early years, and it is always good to hear songs like “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)”, “Oh Well”, “Need Your Love So Bad” and of course “Albatross” getting stage time.
The line up of ROFM varies a little from tour to tour, but a core upfront band is usually as tonight
Jess Harrow as Stevie Nicks (Lead Vocals)
Emily Gervers as Christine McVie (Lead Vocals/Keyboards)
Dave Goldberg as Peter Green (Keyboards/Guitars/Vocals)
Allan Cosgrove as Mick Fleetwood (Drums and Musical Director)
James Harrison as John McVie (Bass)
With of course regular members Etienne Gerard and Scott Poley adding their impressive talents to the band..
To anyone out there that has not been to a ROFM show because they maybe think that a “tribute band” will be performing their favourite songs on a limited budget, then I would say, come along and just listen to this band. ROFM do not travel lightly. This band has a lot of instruments and stage equipment with them when they tour and a serious technical back up crew to make sure everything runs smoothly on stage. Also, their attention to detail and having the right instruments for the right songs to get that sound as close as they can is worth a mention on its own.
As always a great tribute to the music of one of the most iconic bands of all time, and it is always nice to have a tribute band on stage who love their music, but know they are not the originals, and the video introduction and endorsement from Mick Fleetwood himself firmly establishes that fact from the very beginning. No pretentious illusions here from ROFM, just a love for the words and the music played with genuine love, affection and talent. To prove just how good ROFM, this show (as with many others on this tour) was SOLD OUT.
Review by Tom King