Kicking off 2022 (and my first Valcato blog post) I thought I’d explore this question as it’s something, being a performer myself, I get asked a lot.
For those not in the industry (and even some within), the concept of a tribute act is a strange one. “What, so you get paid to pretend to be someone famous?”… Well, yes. But, there’s a lot more that goes into it, than simply putting on a costume and ‘pretending’. If it were that easy, I’m sure there’d be far more tribute acts in the world.
So… let’s delve into a bit more about Tribute Acts for those of you who aren’t in the know.
According to the infamous Google, the first tribute (of sorts) was back in the 50’s and Elvis impersonators were popping up here, there and everywhere.
However, if the question on your next pub quiz is, ‘Who was the first ever tribute act?”, please don’t come at me if I’m wrong, blame Google. But if I’m right then I know you’ll be echoing the words of the King of Rock and Roll, “Thank you very much”.
As tribute acts developed, so did the creativity behind their names. Nowadays, anything goes! So we find ourselves in a sea of punderful titles (see what I did there) with Fake That, Dread Zeppelin, Bon Jovial and Surely Bassey, to name a few. Then you’ve got those who take their name from a famous track title – Rule The World, Wannabe, Take A Chance On Us. However, my ultimate FAVOURITE name I came across during my research, has got to be “Blobbie Williams” – need I say anymore.
Tribute events are a great way for the masses to spend a night reliving their youth for singers who are no longer with us, and for singing along to the songs of their favourite stars without the hefty price tag that a lot of them command for their tours. It’s a night where you can get your glad rags on, and feel in some way connected to the superstars of the music industry. Don’t tell me, if you were at an event and ‘Spice Up Your Life’ came on, you wouldn’t be slamming it to the left and shaking it to the right like your life depended on it!
Even Glastonbury recognises the calibre of some tributes, inviting them to perform on their Pyramid Stage to open up the weekend at the world famous festival.
Being a tribute, and a good one at that, requires a lot of planning, time, effort, energy and the dreaded ‘m’ word – Money. It’s not to say you need to be a member of The Sunday Times Rich List, but an act that is well invested into, tends to be at the top end of the tribute world scale. I know of many tributes that earn a fair whack (and much more than a standard 9-5 could offer them) doing something they love. As the famous Confucius saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
Tributes are becoming so good, that their original counterparts are seeking legal action for them sounding and/or looking too much like them.
Just recently, Dorothea ‘Coco’ Fletcher who performs her show ‘Simply The Best’, has been taken to court by the legendary Tina Turner.
Tina’s lawyers have claimed that fans of the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” may mistakenly think Coco is somehow involved in the show, as she looks too much like Tina in the promotional material.
The case has reached Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, and the ruling is due this year.
So, I guess in answer to the age old question – YES! There are some amazing tributes out there, and here at Valcato, we’re proud to manage 7 incredible tributes (and other acts) and you can check them out here – https://valca.to/ourtributes
Ciao for now, Otti x