THOUSANDS of music fans will once again trek down to the Bahrain Rugby Football Club for another dose of nostalgia at the latest edition of TribFest on Friday.
Lookalike acts flown in from the UK will mimic bands and performers of yesteryear and some more recent chart-toppers to the delight of the young and old alike on the grass pitch at Janabiya.
“This is the tenth edition,” said rugby club GM Derek McKenzie. “It now has a bit of a cult following, an event for people to meet up and soak up the atmosphere. The music is good and it allows people to reminisce the olden days! Each TribFest is getting bigger and bet-ter!”
Side attractions include rides for children, clowns and street entertainers mingling amid the crowds, with food and refreshment stalls, alongside families picnicking on blankets and under erected gazebos during the sunshine hours.
When dusk descends the serious party-goers take over close to the stage and the music gets rockier with acts delivering classics from Queen, the Artic Monkeys and David Bowie.
The rugby club is not the only expat club or five star hotel outlet reaping the rewards of mu-sical trips down memory lane. The recent Friday brunch at the Gulf Hotel & Convention Centre’s Sherlock Holmes featuring Bon Giovi, the ‘most authentic tribute to rock legends Bon Jovi’ sold out.
The venue is experiencing a similar stampede for places for the coming Halloween edition with a concert and brunch next Thursday and Friday featuring Abba tribute act Revival.
And the Dilmun Club in Saar will be staging the much-awaited ‘DilStock - Rock the 80s’ on Friday, November 8, with acts playing U2 and Rolling Stones classics among others.
Jamie Moore, a member of award-winning Madness tribute act Badness, who call them-selves the ‘most entertaining ska revival show’, told GDNonline: “Our success may be down to the ‘tribute’ thing although we prefer to look at it more as a nostalgia trip.
“Most tributes try to look like the act but we don’t and never have. It’s just six blokes from the north of England playing Madness and Bad Manners and ska music as close to the original recordings as we can.
“Our act is a show involving plenty of audience participation and it’s a bit like pantomime where there is room for improvisation, plus the main thing is we are all playing ‘live’, songs can be extended and random stuff can happen, so it keeps it fresh and a laugh on stage.
“What troubles me about the tribute scene is the fact that some acts actually believe they are the real thing! It’s scary ... the ego arrives before they do!
“But for me, very near my 60th birthday, to still be playing and performing in front of sell-out crowds, I feel very lucky. Badness have now been on the road for 25 years. The bottom line is … it’s probably nice to revisit your teenage days, well, so our audiences keep telling us!”
Stanley Louis Szecowka
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