It has been just over two years since the last time I saw Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac perform.  The hook for this current tour is a 40th anniversary celebration of the Rumours album, although we are actually now closer to the 41st anniversary.  The band has recently undergone a radical restructuring with original members Allan Cosgrove on drums and Dave Goldberg on keyboards, guitar and vocals being joined by two new female vocalists, and a new bassist and guitarist.

These changes have gone largely unannounced and have taken some of the band’s loyal fans by surprise but in my opinion they have resulted in the band being even better than they were before.

Speaking of loyal fans, earwigging into the conversations going on around me before the show reveals a number of people who have seen the band four or five times and who have traveled hundreds of miles to be here.   There’s a real buzz in the room; it’s Saturday night and people are clearly out to have a great time.

The show opens with a video introduction from Mick Fleetwood as the band take to the stage, as good an endorsement as a tribute band could possibly have.  Singer Emily Gervers, who sings and plays Christine McVie’s parts, explains that for the first set the band will play the Rumours album “note for note, in its entirety”.  From the opening notes of Second Hand News, they do exactly that and the audience lap it up.  While I totally get that Rumours is an absolute classic of the AOR genre, I’ve never really been a massive fan.  Even I can’t deny, however, how well all of the songs stand up in performance; there is not a duff song here.  Occasional between-song video clips from Fleetwood, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, taken from old documentary footage, help to set the album in context and tell the famous story of the internal band struggles during the time the album was recorded.

Old favourites like Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, The Chain and Songbird are obvious standouts but less obvious tracks such as Oh Daddy and Gold Dust Woman also shine.  Jess Harwood shares vocal duties, taking Stevie Nicks’ parts while Scott Poley and James Harrison, both on guitar and vocals, have all of Lindsay Buckingham’s parts covered.  The first set ends with Silver Springs, which was recorded for the Rumours album but had to be left off due to lack of space.

The start of the second set takes us back to the band’s Peter Green-led era.  Dave Goldberg, who has spent the first half of the show hidden behind a bank of keyboards, takes on guitar and lead vocals for this section.  Black Magic Woman, Man Of The World, Green Manalishi,  Albatross and Need Your Love So Bad showcase this period of the band’s history.

Gervers and Harwood return for a final section that wraps up the non-Rumours hits from the Buckingham/Nicks era along with a couple of lesser known songs.  Encores Big Love and the fantastically mad Tusk bring the night to a close.  Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac are a bit more than just a tribute band, they are keeping the spirit of Fleetwood Mac alive and their audience love them for it.

Setlist

Second Hand News

Dreams

Never Going Back Again

Don’t Stop

Go Your Own Way

Songbird

The Chain

You Make Loving Fun

I Don’t Want To Know

Oh Daddy

Gold Dust Woman

Silver silver Springs

Black Magic Woman

Green Manalishi

Albatross @Cover

Need Your Love So Bad

Man Of The World

Oh Well

Gypsy

Seven Wonders

I’m So Afraid

Sara

Landslide

Little Lies

World Turning

Everywhere

Rhiannon

Big Love

Tusk

John Scott

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