METAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEE GEES, TRAGEDY, BRING THEIR 'HOW DEEP IS YOUR MUM' TOUR TO EDINBURGH
Tragedy: Bannermans, Edinburgh 13th March 2017
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland
Heavy Metal and disco may not seem like styles that are obvious candidates to be combined but Kiss did manage it successfully in their massive seventies hit 'I Was Made For Lovin' You' so never say never.
New Yorkers Tragedy obviously didn't as they have made a ten year career out of being a Metal tribute to the Bee Gees and beyond with string of viral YouTube videos and albums with titles like 'Death To False Disco-Metal' (which even contained a cover of that Kiss tune) to their credit.
Arriving at Bannermans in Edinburgh on a cold Monday night in support of their latest album 'The Joy Of Sex' and during a tour appealingly subtitled 'How Deep Is Your Mum', it's glittery confetti, flashing fire engine lights and cheesy banter from the start. Subtle these guys are not but they're not supposed to be.
The tongue in cheek humour, silver hot pants and regular throwing of handfuls of glitter are the obvious part of the set up. It should be backed up with humorous and inventive versions of songs we all know, even if we can't admit how much we love them as we're Metal fans.
Things start well with the inevitable opening gambit of the Bee Gees' 'Tragedy' with the chugging guitars sounding quite at home behind the lyrics of "with no one to love you. you're going nowhere". It was all very patchy for me from there though.
The Bee Gees stuff really works for some reason and 'Staying Alive' is just genius but the versions of Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' and Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street' sounded a bit awkward and weren't that much fun either. I really could have done without hearing Rod Stewart's 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' again too.
Much of the slapstick style humour doesn't hit the mark either as the character of Lance, who plays no instruments and hams it up throughout the performance, is unnecessary. A bigger focus more on the music would have been preferable. When they mixed some Slayer riffs with The Weather Girls in 'Reigning Men' it was both funny and musically impressive and more of that plus the nicely reworked Bee Gees and Grease songs would have improved things.
I was slightly disappointed with my first viewing of Tragedy but I should caveat that by saying I don't like Steel Panther much either and look how well they're doing. The half a dozen people dragged up on stage for the KC/DC And The Sunshine Band finale and many left in the audience seemed to enjoy the show better than I did so these guys have something to offer. I'd just like to see less of Lance and hear more tunes that work as well as their best stuff. Maybe next time.