Event: Rumours of Fleetwood Mac
Location: Buxton Opera House
The Concept: I am not fully convinced Stevie Nicks is human. She may be a spectre of some sort from another time and place. Although I have never seen Fleetwood Mac live, I have a strong affinity for the band and its inhabitants. When faced with stress or anxiety, I tend to put on some Fleetwood Mac to calm the ole’ nerves down. It might be also noted I was born in the 1970s and Fleetwood Mac was not of my generational music growth spurt. I have had to discover Fleetwood Mac and unlike many other bands from history in which you can set their music to a specific time, place and era, Fleetwood Mac seems to defy the musical gods and have music that transcends its generation. In a career that spans four decades and twenty-five albums, you can’t really play one of their songs and say ‘that is from the 1960s’ as the music is still as relevant as ever. There we have it; legends.
So to take on the mantle of ethereal legendary you better be putting your very best foot forward. The tribute band Rumours of Fleetwood Mac seemed to do just that with a lofty 600 concerts under their belt. Mick Fleetwood sets the stage by giving a video introduction of the band and his personal seal of approval. When in doubt, get one of the originals to endorse you, so full marks for that one.
From that point on the evening is a full throttle experience of Fleetwood Mac hits and classics to which myself, and many others, happily sung along to throughout the entire evening. The Chain, Dreams, Landslide, Gypsy, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Seven Wonders, Little Lies and so many more…you know them all and can sit back and reminisce in those moments Fleetwood Mac have brought you great joy.
The Successes: To be honest, the tribute band were good – really good. Like, really, really good. They seemed to have a good balance among them and all took turns wowing the audience. Alan Hughes brought the cool swagger and guitar talent of Lindsey Buckingham, while Amanda Kostadinov brought a delightful warmth to the stage as Christine McVie. Louise Rogan definitely had the vocal chops to be Stevie, but it was the quiet guy at the back of the stage for the first set stuck behind the keyboards that seemed to blow us all away when he came to centre stage for the ‘bluesy’ section of the show at the start of the second set. Dave Goldberg seemed rather unassuming as Peter Green but ended being the exciting dark horse of the evening, belting out the likes of Black Magic Woman with all the depth and grit of its original.
The bluesy section at the start of the second set where Albatross, Black Magic Woman, and so on, were performed was one of the show highlights where the ‘lads’ got the opportunity to perform and made the most of it. You could see they were enjoying performing as much as we were listening.
Another highlight of the evening was the performance of The Chain that just turned into utterly gorgeous chaos where all the band members let loose and gave their all. It was as if we were all enjoying a singular Fleetwood Mac moment.
The lights show and video footage were also well utilized to make the event look quite big budget.
The Setbacks: Although the show was pretty spectacular for a tribute show, it did have a couple of setbacks – primarily the line between homage and mimicry. Sometimes Louise Rogan as Stevie Nicks tended towards mimicry which seemed slightly forced and took away from the performance, however, when she let loose her vocals were still akin to Stevie but also allowed the audience to get wrapped up in the conjuring of her own talent.
Some of the songs seemed poorly placed. Opening with Gypsy – one of the most iconic Fleetwood Mac songs – while the band and audience were still warming up didn’t make so much of a showstopper as a little less impact for a great song. Similarly, not making The Chain the finale or one of the encores, was a poor choice as that seemed to be one of the bands best performances.
Final Thoughts: You will probably have far more chances to see Rumours of Fleetwood Mac in concert than Fleetwood Mac in concert so take the opportunity to do so. An entertaining force in their own right, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac are not merely a tribute band, they are also a thoroughly talented band in their own right and worth seeing.
Would the Ladies Take On Rumours of Fleetwood Mac again? Well, rumour has it, I would.