Elevation, a U2 tribute band from Liverpool in England, toured India as part of the Seagram’s 100 Pipers tour. Having played in Hyderabad on September 28, You & I caught up with the Merseysiders to find out why they formed the band and what keeps them going.
Tell us a little about yourselves and how you guys met.
Alan (guitars), Tony (bass), and Mark (drums) all knew each other previously, having previously played in original bands for many years. We decided to form a tribute band to continue having a career in music and decided on U2, as the bands ages and line-up were the same. We were looking for someone to be Bono – Stuart (vocals) had been in a band with Alan’s brother David, and Alan asked Stuart to join on vocals.
Why did you choose to be a U2 tribute band instead of primarily writing your own material?
We have all been in original bands in the past. As mentioned above, we wanted a vehicle that would keep us all involved in playing music. The idea of a tribute band seemed like a new road to travel down, so we decided to form one. We have always liked U2’s music and have the right line-up to replicate their sound. We enjoy sharing U2’s music to people who might not necessarily get to see them live.
Could you share a couple of memorable moments or funny incidents that have happened to you on tour?
In Liverpool (our home town), we performed at a festival in front of about 20,000 people. The stage was outdoors in the city centre, surrounded by buildings either side. In the middle of our set, a man leaned out of a window wearing a Michael Jackson mask and dangled a doll, acting out the infamous incident. The crowd panicked before they realised he was pretending.
Have you ever performed with or as an opening to U2?
No. U2 usually have signed well-known bands to open for their shows. It would be funny if we ever got to meet them though!
What keeps you guys going after more than a decade?
We simply love performing music. We enjoy each other’s company and are great friends. The feeling of connecting with an audience during a gig is amazing. It keeps our souls young! It’s a great thing to do for a living, so it doesn’t feel like a job. We’re lucky.
And lastly, what have you got planned in the near future (three to nine months)?
We have plenty of gigs back in the UK to keep us busy, along with some enquiries to perform all across Europe, too. Our next show is in Slovenia; we’re looking forward to returning there because the last time was a great experience. We would love to come back to India, too. It has made such a great impression on us all, and we leave with wonderful memories. We would really like to thank Seagram’s 100 Pipers along with Showhouse Events for the opportunity to tour your beautiful country.