Gladness – The Ultimate Madness tribute act

When I was a younger man, I had a well-considered aversion to the phenomenon of ‘tribute’ acts. As the rage grew for copycat behaviour, I was left cold by the prospect. I wanted the new, the exciting and the unique. I didn’t want my treasured ‘memories’ when first hearing a piece of music to be somehow diminished or sullied by John Lennon or Freddie Mercury wannabes.

I tried to get over myself and went to the very first Glastonbudget, a festival in these parts that’s largely dedicated to the tribute. I couldn’t get on with it despite a grudging acknowledgement that T-Rextasy were great (and I’d never get to see Marc Bolan do his thing for real). I chuckled when Coolplay played Coldplay’s new single three days after it was released. It was the first time I’d heard it – and that felt all sorts of topsy-turvy. 

It’s fair to say that my aversion has calmed (a bit) with age. A couple of years back, I went to see a Queen tribute (endorsed for quality by Roger Taylor). And I found myself carried along with the crowd’s enthusiasm. Similarly at this year’s Bestival (my eFestivals review here), I was most charitable about The Smiths Ltd. Their Morrissey and Marr combo was accurate and suitably miserable. 

It was with some trepidation that I headed along to Leicester’s Music Cafe on Friday night to see Gladness, the ultimate Madness tribute act. A great friend of mine over a number of years, Jon O’Neill, sings with the band and I know a few of the other members as well. It could have been awkward if I’d had to make my excuses and leave early with a nasty dose of tributitis. 

(Click on page 2 to see my Gladness review)

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – The Donkey – 18th September

Autumn’s on the way. That means that I’m going to start posting on Sonic Breakfast with gay abandon. 

My goodness fuck. What a summer it has been. At some point I’ll link into all of the festivals I’ve reviewed on eFestivals to prove that I’ve not been slacking even though persistent perusers of SB might think otherwise. 

Favourite festivals this year weren’t about the music per se. Port Eliot... Go to this should it happen next year.. Stunning.. Festival No. 6.. In the same ball park (and I still need to finish my review). 

Regardless, I do love the lovely music scene at home in Leicester… And my Mercury review for Sweet Billy Pilgrim says loads in a few words about why this transition from Summer to Autumn is broadly welcomed in this part of LE3. Photo’s courtesy of Phil Bull.

 T’is the season to be gig going and what better way to kick that off than with this fine band of thrash-pastellers.