[full set of gig pics available on Flickr]
Just to clarify, this isn’t the punk band with the same name that come up if you search on last.fm. Tragedy are a comedy tribute to the Bee Gees (and other music of the era) who infuse the disco-busting moves with the power of pure metal!
Now, let’s be honest. The 70s sucked. Disco was a huge decade-long joke that some people don’t seem to have managed to get over. However, there was some genuine talent there and some good beats. The songs weren’t bad… it’s just their setting that was wrong. Throw away the bit where people took it seriously, strap on some guitars, ramp up the distortion and you’ve got Tragedy.
Looking at their web page this week, shortly after the death of Bee Gee Robin Gibb, and you’ll see that they’re genuine fans of the original artists. Not just “we like the music and it would be fun to do it differently”, but knowledgeable and appreciative of the talent involved in a huge performing and songwriting career. Their live performance does everything to affirm this opinion, at no point taking the piss out of the music’s original artists. Instead, it’s done with a huge wagging tongue placed firmly in a glitter-coated cheek.
Ann came through from Edinburgh for the gig, and we missed both opening acts due to the early doors and the need for food. The ABC and Garage are bad for this (their one downside, they’re otherwise both excellent venues) as they host student nights during the week so curfew is usually 10pm. Just for the record, we had a very nice Indian at the Rawalpindi just over the road. Well worth popping in if you like a good curry, and they even make it the way you want it.
We made it to the venue a couple of minutes before the band came on, and settled in at the front of the 70-80 strong crowd. The last time they played the UK was four years ago opening for the Wildhearts. I guess their crowd size has grown slightly, though they deserve more. Mind, all bands start somewhere – look at Hayseed Dixie as a prime example.
Blasting through a ninety-minute set, the band cunningly changed their name on several occasions in a bid to cover artists other than the Bee Gees. We had Donna Bummer and Black Abba-th, amongst others. Spandex was stretched, glitter flung over the crowd, guitars licked and drums pounded. Let’s face it, everyone knew every song. Even in the form played on the night, they’re instantly recognisable classics.
Audience participation was pretty much mandatory, and Ann (amongst others) ended up on stage towards the end along with some poor sod who was handed a guitar… while the band sneaked off stage to the bar.
Simply put, they’re fun. Just what a gig should be. Not just seeing a band in person, or hearing your songs played a bit louder than you can manage at home. Entertaining, over the top, silly, outrageous and fun.
There are still a few dates left on the tour. Go and see them. I doubt they’ll be expensive (Glasgow was only Â£9 on the door), and you get your moneys-worth. Their first album, We Rock Sweet Balls And Can Do No Wrong, is only a fiver at the merch stall as well. Definitely worth picking up!