Return Of The Mac: Kevin Thompson reviews tribute band Rumours of Fleetwood Mac
On a wet, rainy 20th January, I made my way to Sheffield City Hall for Rumours of Fleetwood Mac. I must admit to not being much of a tribute band fan, so I approached this concert with a certain amount of trepidation. On time, the lights dimmed and a large video screen played a personal endorsement from Mick Fleetwood extolling the professionalism of the band.
As the first chords of Gypsy emitted from the sound system the verbatim quality of the vocals from Louise Rogan (Stevie Nicks), Amanda Kostadinov (Christine McVie) and Alan Hughes (Lyndsey Buckingham) immediately struck me. This was complemented by superb musicianship from the rest of the band: Dave Goldberg (Peter Green), Allan Cosgrove (Mick Fleetwood), James Harrison (John McVie) and Ben Hughes and Paul Walsham, guitar and percussion respectively.
The first set leaned heavily on the ’75 album Fleetwood Mac and ’77s, multi-platinum Rumours, with hits such as Dreams, Rhiannon, Second Hand News and Say that You Love Me. A surprise, and a real gem, was a performance of an out-take from the Rumours album Silver Springs, a breathy, haunting melody and vocal.
After a short break, the band returned to the stage, with the earlier blues-tinged side to the band. This was the style Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood had initially intended the band to go in, influencing bands such as The Animals, Manfred Mann and Dr Feelgood, until Green’s disappearance with mental health issues. This forced the introduction of Nicks and Buckingham and the Americanization of the band in ’75.
The songs in the early part of this set, had a harder edge, and the power of Dave Goldberg’s vocals gave the Green Manalishi, Black Magic Woman, Oh Well and Man of the World, an authentic interpretation of the band in those early years. As the ladies returned to the stage, the hits just kept coming with The Chain, Big Love and Go Your Own Way keeping the audience content.
As the night came to a close, both females displayed vocal acrobatics by performing two of Mac’s most poignant ballads Landslide and Songbird. Then at the request of the band, the audience got to its feet and danced away to Go Your Own Way, Tusk and Don’t Stop.
So, while not previously chomping at the bit to buy tickets to see lots of tribute bands, my perception of them has been transformed by this enjoyable and authentic display by a group of musicians at the peak of their craft.