This is going to be fun – four brilliant local acts at the Attico Cafe in central Watford. There are still some tickets available. Buy online now. And the concert supports the vital work of Watford Refugees.
Tribute acts rock
There’s an artist called Paul Metcalfe at the Radlett Centre Friday night. He and his band have a show called ‘Some Guys Have All the Luck’. He told me all about it.
What kind of show is it, Paul?
It’s a two-hour show full of music by Rod Stewart, the likely lad who grew up in North London, narrowly avoided becoming a professional footballer and went on to become one of the biggest stars ever. In the first half I tell Rod’s story, then, after the interval, it’s basically a party. We invite the audience to let their hair down and we play all the hits.
Have you been doing it long?
We’ve been on the road with this show for six months but I’ve been taking off Rod Stewart for twenty years so I must be doing something right! There are five of us in the band and we’re on the road with a lighting, sound and stage crew. They’re great songs to sing and I love singing, I love showing off, so it’s ideal for me!
You knew I’d ask – do you look like Rod Stewart?
I do when I’m on stage! I’ve got the feather-cut hair ad at least ten outfits, all based on ones that he actually wore. I’ve got a straight, white mic stand just like Rod’s and I’ve perfected the art of of swinging that around, so it’s all pretty authentic.
Tribute acts seem to be booming. What’s going on?
So many of the great artists are dying (what a year we’ve had!) and people still want to hear the music they love and have a great night out! I think it’s going to wind up like it is in classical music. The great composers are long gone but we’re still going to see their work performed by young artists. It’ll be the same for pop and rock!
Was there life before Rod?
I discovered music on my own, as a kid, and loved it from the start. I was a drummer for a while, then thought “maybe I should try and make a bit of money” so I switched to singing. Along the way I realised the importance of the chat between the songs, the way you could charm an audience. Then someone said to me “these tribute bands are all doing well and you do sound like Rod Stewart…”
Have you toured the world?
We’ve played all over Europe and in the States. We do a fantastic gig in Malaysia regularly – a charity event with a bunch of expat Scots. And we’re doing seventy dates with the show this year.
So you’ve played some pretty big venues?
Every shape and size of venue you could imagine. We played a brilliant Xmas party at the Millennium Dome at the end of 1999 – three songs in front of thousands of people. And we’ve done a gig at the London Aquarium – we were asked to keep the bass as low as possible because “it agitates the sharks”!
The mini festival at Battler’s Green Farm is tomorrow (5 September) and we hear there are still a few tickets left. The line-up looks great. Confirmed artists, performing on three stages, include: Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates, rock ‘n’ roll band Dixie, Kingsland Road singer Joe Conaboy and Ben Thapa from G4. The full list is here. Tickets for the day are £21.40 for adults, £11 for kids (children under 5 are free). Buy online here. Better still, the weather forecast isn’t too bad. No rain at least!
Blimey. Christmas is here. I know that because Fair Field Juniors has had its Christmas Fair. I’ve been going for a few years and I’m a parent and a governor at the school so you’ll forgive me if I’m a bit sentimental about it but it is always a warm and lively treat. The hall was – as usual – a happy riot and attractions filled many of the surrounding classrooms. Santa was in the building. The marvellous Borehamwood Brass entertained us, there were mince pies and mulled wine… Need I say more?