Friday 24th April 2015
OK, so I know I’ve already written about this band once this year. But I went to see them again, and I think a brief write-up is in order.
The last time we saw Stipe – R.E.M. tribute band extraordinaire – you may remember, was in Chester’s Live Rooms. A larger venue than I’d seen them in previously. It was a great gig. This time around, we were back to Alexander’s, also in Chester, but a smaller, more intimate place. How did the band fare?
Well Alexander’s is hardly a downgrade. It’s a very cool, laid back venue with a positive vibe. Though in this smaller room, the close proximity of the band really makes the experience a welcoming one.
The music sounds clear, sharp, immediate. Stipe are not merely a carbon copy tribute band; even if I forget about the brilliant musicianship, they manage to accomplish much more than just replicate the music of R.E.M. There’s a love for the original material that can really be heard in this venue, and makes the songs that bit more true and warm.
Unfortunately there’s no keyboards, so still no “Nightswimming” (sad face Mrs Platinum Al). But the absolute total highlight for me is a sublime rendition of “Drive”, one of my favourite R.E.M. songs, delivered gracefully. Blinding version of “Losing My Religion”, too.
Another fine gig from Stipe. This band are authentic, sincere and able to create a genuine atmosphere. Thank you.
The Alexander’s website is here.
Stipe’s Facebook page is here.
Stipe’s website is here.