Friday, 23 May 2014

When is a tribute band a tribute band?

Earth Wind & Fire 

or NOT 

Earth Wind & Fire, that is the question?

The Real & Official EARTH WIND & FIRE!
As we all know there is only one original group of the above name (and shown above), which celebrated worldwide hits since the 1970's.
However confusion seems to be mustering with what appears to be misguided advertising by promoters of tribute bands and non official bands!
It's appreciated by the general public that tribute bands have very similar names to their idols which are often humorous and entertaining in themselves - Fake That (Take That), The Conmitments (The Commitments) etc etc.  Some of the tribute bands though have very similar names which isn't a problem as long as the advertising and the promoters are ethical with how the tribute night is marketed.
There is a similar problem with a group who are being advertised to perform near Marbella, Spain on 12th August 2014.  Take a look at this opening advertising paragraph, and decide if it's the real group or not: 
The Earth Wind and Fire Experience featuring Al McKay
'Earth, Wind and Fire live at the Puente Romana Hotel: Nearly 40% off the amazing 60´s and 70´s legends Earth, Wind and Fire live at the Hotel Puente Romana, Marbella. Normally 55 Euros inc. booking fee and now only 35 Euros. Definitely a night to remember on August 12th'
Looks good doesn't it!  Only the wording 'Earth Wind & Fire' is used - must be original.  It even says '60's and 70's legends' to denote original.  Being a huge EW&F fan, I was intrigued and read more:
The legendary Earth, Wind and Fire live in concert at the lovely Hotel Puente Romano
Seats normally 55€ and now with 36% discount from Cooldeals only 35€
For one night only on Tuesday 12th August, doors open at 20.00hrs
See the fantastic big band playing their famous songs like "Boogie Wonderland", "Lets Groove", "After The Love Has Gone" and "September"
A great evening of entertainment in a fabulous location
Ample off road parking next to the tennis courts
Well this was it, those comments sealed it for me, no doubt about it, this is the real group:  'The legendary Earth, Wind and Fire live in concert''See the fantastic big band playing their famous songs like "Boogie Wonderland", "Lets Groove", "After The Love Has Gone" and "September"'.
Halfway to logging into Ryanair and checking on who I could stay with I suddenly stopped and thought I'd check with the bands website, to see if they were playing anywhere in the UK to save a trip to Spain.  What a surprise I got to read their US Tour included a date on 12th August at..........The Starlight Theatre, Kansas City!!!  Now I saw EW&F live at Wembley years back and the illusions they created on stage were magical, but even they can't be at both sides of the Atlantic at once!
An email to EW&F's management revealed that their gig guide was indeed correct.  The Official Licenced Earth Wind and Fire are in the USA on 12 Aug'14!  They also pointed out they were aware of a 'tribute band' called - 'The Earth Wind & Fire Experience featuring Al McKay (who play EW&F songs)', and that 'this band has caused confusion in the past as the promoters distort advertising to deceive the public into thinking that it is the official Earth, Wind & Fire.' 

The promoters will no doubt say that they mention the name of the group in their advertising, but this is only if you scroll down the page further, and by this time your mind has already been conned into believing the real group is coming!  
They may also say that Al McKay was a past member of the original group, which is actually quite true, but he is not the 'official licensed' group which includes Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson!  In fact Wikipedia is a bit more revealing than the promoters would appear to be: 'Al McKay - He now performs with his band, The Al McKay Allstars, performing a show called The Earth, Wind & Fire Experience'.
The moral to this story is always check with the official groups tour date schedule, before booking tickets, as there are some - and this is only some - promoters who will gladly lead you up the garden path to a 'Boogie Wonder' land called deception!
The webpage advertising the non official EW&F tribute show in Marbella on 12th Aug'14 can be seen here:
The Official Earth Wind & Fire website with current gig guide can be seen at:
StarBookers is an entertainment agency based in the UK, who provide live entertainment worldwide - and yes this includes both tribute bands, and original

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