Pigs on the Wing, Ed Force One and GeddyUp

Mannifest 2010, Glen Lough Campsite''Saturday''Pigs on the Wing, on the Wi-Manx Stage

Mannifest 2010, Glen Lough Campsite''Saturday''Pigs on the Wing, on the Wi-Manx Stage

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TRIBUTE: an act, statement or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration.

In the case of tribute bands, it’s also a chance for an audience to experience the music they love being played live.

And next week three top Manx tribute bands get their time to shine in the Villa Marina’s Royal Hall.

As part of TT race week entertainment, Pigs on the Wing, Ed Force One and Geddy Up will play the music of Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and Rush respectively.

First up on Tuesday (June 5) is Pigs on the Wing, no strangers to the Royal Hall and grand professional performances. ‘It’s going to be pretty special, it’s quite a big production,’ said vocalist and guitarist Pete Williamson. ‘Iain Rive, who mixes The Chemical Brothers, is coming over to do our sound.

‘We’ll have the light show and projections too, there’s a lot more going on than just the music.’

It’s not just the music, but when covering a 250 million selling act like Floyd, the music has to be right. How have rehearsals been going?

Pete said: ‘It’s going well, we’ve got a few new tracks to play, from The Wall and Wish You Were Here. It’s good, as it is hard to get new songs into the set, as it’s hard getting us all in the same room at the same time!’

He alludes to the fact that their keyboard and sax players both live in London, and each of the Manx contingent play in numerous other bands.

It means the Pigs on the Wing circus is only rolled out for a big gig once every couple of years – the last being Mannifest in 2010 – which does add a sense of occasion to next week’s show. Aside from the new tracks, how is the rest of the set-list picked out?

‘It’s very similar to the format of Pink Floyd’s Pulse tour,’ said Pete.

‘The first half tends to be the big mixed classics from the first album through to The Division Bell, and the second half we run through Dark Side of the Moon, with a few anthems to finish.’

Which material does he look forward to most in the set? ‘I love the Dark Side of the Moon stuff, it just flows. There’s 45 minutes of constant playing, with lots of different styles, it’s really nice to play.’ Doors open at 8pm, and tickets are £13 from the Villa Marina box office on 600555.

Two nights later, on Thursday (June 7), Ed Force One and Geddy Up double-up for a classic rock’n’roll feast.

Vocalist for both bands, Mike Jelski, sets the scene: ‘We’re going for a solid two-hour full spectrum Maiden set list with at least one song off every album from Iron Maiden to Fear of the Dark. That’s nine albums worth! We’re also doing a couple of their epic tracks with at least Seventh Son, Phantom of the Opera and Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Preparation wise, as always with Maiden, it’s just been hard work.

‘On the night we’ve got a few costume changes, a big lights display and even a special guest or two joining us.

‘Should be a really special night appreciated by any Maiden fan.

‘It’ll be a busy night for me and Dick Raine doubling up with Geddy Up as well. The Rush set has been coming together nicely and even a couple of new songs for us in there. With Rush - expect the unexpected.’

Tickets, £10, are still on sale from Villa Marina box office on 600555 or at www.villagaiety.com

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