Fifty years ago five young musicians took the British music scene by storm with a unique take on the blues genre.
As Fleetwood Mac, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green stormed the charts with a string of groundbreaking hits such as Albatross, Oh Well, Man of the World, The Green Manalishi...
Success brought its well-documented troubles but Fleetwood Mac evolved, in line-up and musical style.
The addition of the volatile chemistry of Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham resulted in a band far removed from Green’s blues-laden roots but 1977’s multi-platinum Rumours album propelled them to new heights, winning the group a global audience.
Now, a new show celebrating the very best of Fleetwood Mac over the past 50 years visits Fife this month.
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac have been personally endorsed by Mick Fleetwood and this tribute will see the group performing all the hits plus a special blues set dedicated to that legendaryPeter Green era.
The tribute band was formed by Liverpool drummer Allan Cosgrove more than 20 years ago, and with over 700 major concert events to date, the band have shown no signs of stopping, with praise rolling in from across the UK.
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Allan told the Press: “This year we are celebrating 50 years of Fleetwood Mac and it’s the anniversary tour. They have been out there since 1968 and that is a lot of material over the years.
“From our point of view we have a lifetime of music to play – five decades of hits. It’s a great gig to do, so when audiences come to the show we will be giving them all the big hits.”
Allan revealed what he enjoys most about performing in the band: “The beauty of the show is it’s not just stuck in one genre – we can play blues from the ’60s, we can play the almost country-rock of Stevie Nicks, then you have Lindsey Buckingham and he’s almost on the edge of being Indie with his catalogue of songs.
“Then there is Christine McVie who really penned all the big hits of Fleetwood Mac. So there isn’t one point of focus. What is enjoyable from a musician’s point of view is that we play so many different styles of music in one night.
“Also it is getting to perform the massive hits of Fleetwood Mac like Dreams, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop. These are massive songs which are really fun to do for a musician.”
Allan said they also like to perform tunes which are lesser known.
“Our challenge is we like to play songs that might not have been as big but are still on a greatest hits album,” he explained.
“It is easy to go out and just play all the hits, but because it is 50 years we are also trying to play a few songs that people might not have latched on to but, once they hear them, they can go back and find and enjoy them.”
He said audiences tend to get very excited in the second half of the show: “We glide it to a frenzy in the second half with all the big hits but there is something there for everybody.
“Our audiences go from 16 to 70 so it’s a great cross-section of people who are still loving the music.”
The drummer explained how he first got involved with Rumours of Fleetwood Mac: “All the musicians have their own careers. Some of them are original artists but I am the founder member so this started nearly 19 years ago now. I was on a gig at a festival and saw a band called The Bootleg Beatles.
“I thought ‘wow that’s amazing’ and they were really authentic.
“I thought there is something in that so had the idea of doing a tribute show.
“I have been a big fan of Mick Fleetwood’s playing for many years and so I got in touch with him and asked him if he thought it was a cool thing to do and sent him some recordings.
“Now he could have sent us to the lions but he gave us the thumbs up - so we had his blessing! Over the years he has played in our show a couple of times, which is fantastic, and you can’t have a better endorsement than that.
“All these years later the show has been across the world and into America – it has been literally everywhere with the big hits!”
There have been a few highlights over the years with Allan citing the shows where Mick Fleetwood performed on stage with them as well as playing on stages in north America and Canada among the most memorable.
Allan said they have been to Fife a few times over the years and are looking forward to performing here again on May 25: “Over the years we have been to the Alhambra. We love coming up to Scotland and we usually play in Inverness, Glasgow and Dundee and, on our way up, we usually nip into Dunfermline, which is great. The Alhambra is a lovely old theatre and it’s a great place to do the gig because it is rock-esque and you can turn the volume up!
“Whenever I go north I just feel as if I am coming home, and Scotland has some of the best audiences in the world. We always have a great time with them and they do let their hair down, which makes our job easy. We love it.”
But what makes the music of Fleetwood Mac stand the test of time?
Allan said: “Bands like The Eagles, Genesis and Fleetwood Mac had messages in their music so they had something to say.
“They were meaningful songs and the older you get, the more you relate to the music you have grown up with –it reminds people of some great times which is why it has transcended over the decades. Nothing has come along to match it.”
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac’s anniversary tour is at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline on Saturday, May 25, at 8pm. Tickets are available from www.alhambradunfermline.com