It is not unusual for a band to start off as one thing and end up being an entirely different beast.  The Beatles went from lovable mop tops to hairy psychedelicists , and don’t we love them for it.  When Steve Hackett left Genesis, it seemed unlikely that massive queues of people would line up to urinate in their direction should they spontaneously combust.  They went on, however, to become world-straddling pop chart toppers.  I’m pretty sure that happened although maybe it was just a bad dream I had after eating too much stilton.

For all the changes that bands may go through, I can’t think of one, other than Fleetwood Mac, who not only had had three distinct periods during their heyday but also had one of those periods subsequently airbrushed from history.  We all know the story of how the blues-based, Peter Green-led Mac were reborn as the Lindsay Buckingham/Stevie Nicks-fronted band after an acid-fried Green fled the band, right?  That’s what popular history would have us believe; in fact it is possible to assume from at least one Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits compilation that the band didn’t even exist before Buckingham and Nicks arrived on the scene.  The truth is rather different:  Between Green’s departure in 1970 and Buckingham and Nick recruitment on the last day of 1974, the band released 6 studio albums with a shifting line up that included guitarists Bob Welch and Bob Weston.  Several of the albums from this period, notably Future Games, Bare Trees and Mystery To Me are worthy of your attention.Fleetzood2s

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac are a tribute band that feature songs from both the Green – era Mac and the Buckingham/Nicks version.  Do they even allude to the 1970-1974 era?  I’ll let you guess; let’s just say that I was mildly disappointed but not even slightly surprised.  I was not, however, disappointed by Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac’s performance; close your eyes and it could well have been the real thing.  The show opens with a videoed introduction and endorsement from Mick Fleetwood so expectations are raised from the off. The band are excellent musicians and vocalists and whether they are performing tracks from 1997 or 1968 they are bang on the money.

The first half of the set focusses quire heavily on Rumours –Second Hand News, Rumours out-take Silver Springs and Songbird all feature.  Both Louise Rogan as Stevie Nicks and Amanda Kostadinov as Christine McVie have ample opportunity to impress with their authentic vocals; Kostadinov’s keyboards and accordion also adding to the mix.  Alan Hughes delivers Lindsay Buckingham’s distinctive guitar work effortlessly and James Harrison as John McVie does exactly what he should do – stand quietly at the back wearing a flat cap and supporting Allan Cosgrove’s thundering drum parts with some understated but surprisingly intricate bass lines.Fleetzood3s

Rick Vito played with Fleetwood Mac from 1987 to 1991 and he is on stage tonight for the second half of the show where, along with Dave Goldburg who has spent the first half of the show behind a bank of keyboards but now comes front of stage on guitar, he nails the Peter Green period of the band. Oh Well, Black Magic Woman, Need Your Love So Bad and, of course, Albatross are all spot on.

The girls return for the final part of the show which delivers the big hitters:  The Chain, Big Love, Go You Own Way, Don’t Stop and Tusk, ensuring that the audience go home happy with some great tunes swirling round their heads.  A final thank you speech to the audience from drummer Allan Cosgrove makes it obvious, if it were not already so, how seriously the band take the job of recreating the Fleetwood Mac sound as faithfully as they can and how deep their love for the music is.Fleetzood1s

The real Fleetwood Mac toured recently but who knows if they will do again.  If you are a fan of the band, Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac make a great substitute.  Go see them.

John Scott

 

 

 

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