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How important is it for a tribute band to have the EXACT same lineup as the original?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by champbassist, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. As the question says.

    I wanted to start a Police tribute band, but, sadly, I can't sing (not in Sting's range, at least). I've a willing guitarist and drummer by my side and am looking for a vocalist, but some other musician friends of ours are of the opinion that the venture is useless unless the lineup is the exact same.

    I have seen a few Police cover bands which don't follow the identical lineup, though. Thoughts?

    Late edit: To be clearer, I'd like to say that this is going to be a cover band rather than a tribute. Embarrassingly, I didn't take care enough to keep that difference in mind when starting this thread :oops:
  2. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    nobody counts how many people are on stage. good luck finding someone who can sing like sting...
  3. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Typically tribute bands look like the band they are imitating. To the point that the band is being semi-mocked by the tribute or is a spitting image of the band, which the crowd can't tell the difference between the real band and the tribute band on stage.
  4. Kevin did a pretty good job and played the drums...:bag:

    If it sounds great, I doubt many in the audience would be as nit picky as your music buds...
  5. A very ambitious endeavor I must say. If you had a singer who could sing just like Sting I'd go see your act for sure, whether he was playing bass or not.
  6. bjabass


    Jan 10, 2011
    Mountain South
  7. gearhead1972


    Feb 21, 2012
    Kent NY
    I good friend of mine is the drummer for a Rush tribute band called Limelight The bass player is very talented and plays the keys and bass pedals just like Geddy, but cant sing. So they have a singer. They do it so well you don't even care.
  8. harmendebresser


    Mar 11, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Endorsing Artist: Höfner, Pyramid Strings, Dr. No FX & Asterope cables
    I guess if you have an alternate line-up you're considered a coverband, not a tributeband. That's what I'd expect to see in either of those cases. Loved Scrantonicity II myself!
  9. Joe Murray

    Joe Murray Supporting Member

    May 14, 2008
    Fairfax, VA
    I agree with this. I think for a Police "tribute" band, you're going to need a 3 piece. You may just want to go the cover band route and play music from a lot of different artists. At the end of the day (as much as I love them), I don't how $uccessful a Police tribute band would be unless you planned on touring a bit.
  10. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Your friends are just the typical naysayers. Who cares what they think? Do what you want to do, and if you do it well it just might work... then what will they say??

    IMO, on a basic level a tribute band plays only songs from their group's catalog and they must play and sing so it sounds like the original radio hit. On this basic level (barely distinguishable from a standard cover band) I don't care who sings what as long as it sounds right... but if the proper member sings then that's one notch higher. They might even look/dress like the original group and that's even better yet, if you can pull it off. You need it all to achieve a high level of success.

    There's a local Beatles trib here that does a decent job of the full-on tribute. The bassist even plays a lefty Hofner and sings. They dress like the early group for act 1, and the yellow submarine group for act 2. It's pretty good. But the music is most important. If you can sound like the original, you should be good to go. The other factors just make you that much better... and that much more likely to enjoy more success.

    Go for it, and good luck!
  11. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Start a Sting tribute band. Sting himself often does not play bass while performing, so your set :)
  12. I think there a few kinds of tribute bands. The kind that pays tribute to their music, no matter how many people it takes to pull that off...the kind that want to do it with the exact amount of musicians that did it in the real band,... and the kind that does that with all the same gear and stage look down to the last stitch of clothes.

    I think the more successful tribute acts are of the third variety I mentioned. Same amount of people in the band, totally accurate reproduction of the music and visually the same with the gear and clothes. Takes a lot of time and money to do that right though. But if you are good and have decent management and contacts for gigs, you may very well have a decent run of it.

    It's your choice.
  13. cbrophy


    Nov 11, 2009
    Central MA.
    An extra member doesn't bother me so much. But I saw a Journey Tribute band recenty. Singer was spot on. Line up was the same. But the lead gutarist was playing an EVH Frankenstrat...lines and all....it just bugged the hell out of me!
  14. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I think your friends are right.
    Either do it right or leave it alone.
  15. Session1969


    Dec 2, 2010
    Lol ! I forgot that he has been in that band ! Great example of the sound being more important than the looks.
    Heres the thing, there's a difference between a cover act and a tribute act in that sense ( to some people ) . Personally, it doesn't matter to me as long as the group sounds good. Tribute groups usually go for the look while cover acts don't have to. So based on what your going for, you guys would be a Police cover band as opposed to a Police tribute(techinically). I don't think an audience would care at all. Just sound good !
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I agree the top trib bands do it like the band they are playing tribute to. You would need to sing and play as Sting to look good and get the best gigs IMO.
  17. RL Scott

    RL Scott

    Nov 21, 2011
    I don't get the whole tribute band thing, so not exactly the greatest to speak on this, but isn't the whole point to mimic them? Were I fan of tribute bands, and came across a flyer somewhere, decided to check it out, walked in and saw 6 guys doing the Beatles, I'd be one angry honcho and demand my money back.

    I'm just sayin...
  18. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    Check my new sig.
  19. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Yup...it suggests you don't mind "halfassdom" nicely, and the lowering of standards.
    Well done :).
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Go for it. You're never going to please everybody, so please yourself. There is always going to be someone out there trying to hold you back, don't listen to them. What is the worst that could happen?