Colm O'Regan: 'It's time to pay tribute to tribute bands'

Colm O'Regan: 'It's time to pay tribute to tribute bands'

It’s time to pay tribute to tribute bands: The solution to so many problems.

I came to this realisation while dancing like an eejit to Moonage Day-dream, a David Bowie tribute band at about half eleven last Saturday night in Wexford. Every detail about that sentence is important. First there’s the dancing.

It goes without saying that dancing is good for you but it has particular advantages for parents of small children who don’t get out much. It gives you something to talk about that isn’t the children. It’s exercise when you’re feeling like you’ve spent the whole week eating children’s meals off the floor like a Vietnamese pet pig because you were guilty about food waste.

AND it means you don’t drink as much. Don’t get me wrong. I love drinking. Especially the ‘shore-leave’ drinking of a night without children. But big hangovers are simply not worth it. The pre-children hangover versus the post-child one is like the difference between skiving at secondary school and at third level.

When you’re a messer in secondary school you think you’re putting one over on the System. In college the System doesn’t give a shite. The Work on the other hand is always there. Like your children. Children don’t care about your hangover. They are an external examiner. Acigire who isn’t leaving until all questions have been answered twice.

For the casual hoofer, there are simply not enough opportunities for dancing. There are weddings but that’s a hell of a preamble to have to go through just to “sh-sh-shake it like a polaroid picture”.

All the stress of the rig-out, the present, the will-we-know-anyone, the taking of a thousand bad photographs of the bridge going up and down the aisle, obscured by the back of someone else’s phone.

And here’s where the tribute band come in. You KNOW it’s going to be good. You liked the band they are covering. As long as they play the stuff that the tributee used to play, any way competently at all, you are in like Flynn.

It’s crucial for dancing that you know the music. No matter how good a band is, if you don’t know how many times to scream the chorus or how long the air guitar should go on for, you’re liable to have the rug pulled out from under you.

And the best thing about cover bands is that if the band they are paying tribute to are old enough you need never feel the wrong shape, wearing the wrong clothes or not able to dance. The dance-floor is full of people who’ve given up caring. It’s like a fully-clothed nudist colony.

There are no exhibitionist couples showing off what they know from salsa class. It’s MEATLOAF you tools. You don’t meringue to that. You lean on your partner’s shoulder and tell them the list of things you would do but You. Wont. Do. That.

Bowie is perfect. Old enough that there will be granddads breaking their larynx asking is there life on MARRRRRRRRRRRS but hip enough that there’ll be a couple of young people there as well rocking out with an uncle who surprised them with a joint.

And bands come on early. They are done by midnight. You could be back home eating five slices of toast no later than if you’d stayed in and watched The Irishman. But you’ve been out dancing.

Tribute bands: they have it all covered.

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