The Alter Eagles @ Touchline
Gigging for more than ten years, rehearsing for nearly a year before that, six strong-minded musicians, someone else’s repertoire, pubs, clubs, arts centres, theatres, festivals, grubby rehearsal rooms, cramped studios, a trailer full of gear and more opinions than you can shake a Strat at. A recipe for disaster?
Oddly enough, no. Instead, The Alter Eagles are going from strength to strength, inspired by a common purpose – to produce the finest and the most authentic tribute to the Eagles that anyone has ever seen. Their two hour plus show includes all of the Eagles’ biggest hits, including Hotel California, Life In The Fast Lane, Lyin’ Eyes, Take It Easy, and Take It To The Limit as well as some of the band’s most powerful ballads like Desperado, I Can’t Tell You Why and Wasted Time; there’s also room for key solo numbers like Henley’s Dirty Laundry and Joe Walsh’s classic Rocky Mountain Way; and of course, tracks from the Eagles’ last double CD – Long Road Out Of Eden.
Each song is genuinely faithful to the original and that’s what the band reckons sets them apart. “There are a couple of big Eagles’ covers bands in the UK, but they’ve been at it for a while and have started to adapt some of the songs to suit themselves. They’re great bands – but they’re not doing a tribute anymore,” says singer Sam Confrey.
So what makes a great tribute? It’s more than simple mimicry, according to keyboard player and guitarist Alan Tomkins. “It’s not as if we dress up like the Eagles or anything like that – we’re more interested in the music.”
“It’s been a real education,” says guitarist Jay Stezaker. “One of the Eagles’ great strengths is that they make everything sound so simple, but when you come to pick it apart, you realise how much is going on and what great songs they really are.”
The process can be painstaking but it’s always worthwhile. “There’s a real buzz when you crack a particular harmony or when Mike and Jay nail a guitar duet. Once that’s happened, we just want to get the song out there and start playing it in front of people,” says Confrey.
“Truly rocking…an audio illusion of the highest calibre.”
“Their performance of the Eagles’ music was superb and the standing ovation from the packed audience was truly deserved.”
“Being ardent fans of the Eagles since the 70s, we were thrilled to hear their renditions of songs such as Take It Easy, Desperado and Hotel California…absolutely excellent.”