UK’s best tribute bands

17 min read
Spread the love

DOUBLE HEADER: Simulation Muse & The Runaway Killers @ Chinnerys, Southend, UK

Review & Photography by Damien Harvey

Tribute bands are one of those love and hate-projects in the music. Some take them in if they don’t have a chance to see the ‘real’ band and it’s the closest they’ll ever get to sing their songs out, and on the other side, people hate them because they’ll never be as good as the real thing. For me personally? I think there are some very good tribute bands and not-so-good ones. In this review, I’ll introduce you to Simulation Muse and The Runaway Killers, 2 tribute bands acted by the same artists!

Simulation Muse and The Runaway Killers were born in 2016. They are regarded as one the highest quality cover bands in Live Entertainment with their renditions of some of the biggest modern rock hits in the last 20 years.

They started as 1 act, singing both bands, but in 2019, they split the 2 into 2 different acts.

Simulation Muse came out and started with some of the biggest hits starting with ‘Uprising’. while wearing the famous imitation of the glasses which shone Blue and Red, the lead singer sang an uncanny resemblance to the real Matt Bellamy.

Once they got to ‘Will Of The People’ they bought out the infamous mask which Muse has on their We Are Of The People album. A fantastic touch keeping in with the traditions of the band.

Considering they are going to be playing as 2 acts, their setlist was quite extensive with a massive 14 songs, ending with the classic and sing-along, ‘Knights of Cydonia’ This was started with a harmonica solo from the drummer Dan, while George went on the drums, a true multi-instrument artist!

A tight, clean and impressive set as Simulation Muse and people were pumped, and that was only half the show. 

George commenced in announcing he’d be right back and told everyone to go and get a drink as it was now time to set up the stage for The Runaway Killers. Quite impressive!

After a short 15-minute break, the drummer, Dan came out and started the 2nd half of the show with an incredible drum solo, shortly after arriving Kris on Guitar and Pape on Bass, started the show with the incredible hit, ‘When We Were Young’

George comes out on stage looking very sharp in his change of clothes of a black shirt and a black jacket with a touch of leopard print. It was the first time we’d seen his face without the glasses.

Once they started ‘When We Were Young’ the true crowd really came out, and I instantly felt like The Killers were the more popular with the crowd for the sing-a-longs as the whole crowd belted out singing along.

I did find they didn’t play any of the newest stuff made by The Killers, but maybe that’s a good thing because they’ve played hundreds of shows so why change something you know sells?

A tight setlist, a faultless performance and a great entertainer, George really made the stage his own, and once the finale came down, the croaky voices of the crowd had 1 last moment in singing ‘Mr Brightside’ easily The Killers most famous and popular song that I find is played at EVERY concert and live event I’ve ever attended.

At the end, the band thanked everyone for coming out and said Chinnerys is one of their favourites to play having played here multiple times.

I said at the start, tribute bands are a love and hate, but you really do have to see the right acts, and I can assure you this is one you will have to see. An impressive performance of 2 and half hours with an incredible 28 songs with just a small little break in the middle.. That’s some hard-rocking stamina!

If you have any tribute bands in your area, I highly recommend you check them out. You may just be surprised.


George (Vocals)

Kris (Guitar)

Dan (Drums)

Pape (Bass)

Setlist: Simulation Muse



Plug In Baby 

Supermassive Balck Hole

Take A Bow 

Will Of The People 

Dig Down Supremacy

Feeling Good 

The Handler 


Time Is Running Out 

Hysteria (Back In Black outro) 

Stockholm Syndrome

(Encore) Knights of Cydonia 

Setlist: The Runaway Killers

When You Were Young 

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine 


Smile Like You Mean It 

Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll 

For Reasons Unknown 


Mr Brightside (Slow) 

Read My Mind 



Somebody Told Me 

All These Things That I’ve Done 

(Encore) Mr Brightside

Forever Nu at the Brickyard, Carlisle. Friday 15th September 

featuring Spouky Kids + Chop Suey + Machine Head UK + Korn Again + Evanescence Of Fire  

Review and photographs by Linda McDermott  

Do you like tribute bands?  

I can’t remember ever having the notion to go and watch a tribute band, let alone go and watch five in one night. I prefer to watch up-and-coming bands, as well as well-established ones However, I was intrigued enough to find out how these five bands would look and sound, especially as I listen to and love the real artists of three of them.  So off I toddled to the Brickyard in Carlisle so I could report back to you on what the night had in store. 

First up was Evanescence of Fire who started the night off brilliantly.  I especially love Evanescence’s first album and I’m happy to say five of the seven songs played come from ‘Fallen” which was released twenty years ago!  

I was amazed at how close to Amy Lee’s voice Veronica’s and how polished the performance was. They were great, and though I have never seen Evanescence live, I definitely felt that I’d just come close to it. 

Set list. 


Call me When Your Sober 

My Immortal 

What You Want 

My Last Breath 

Going Under 

Bring Me To Life 

Korn Again 

I have heard some Korn songs over the years but didn’t actually get into them, but tonight, I felt I was the only one in the place who didn’t listen to them because the whole place was jumping, and I felt like I’d missed out! 

At one point they had everyone crouching down at the start of a song so they could get them to jump up when it got started, the whole crowd obeyed, they loved it and showed the band how much they were into the performance by forming a very impressive mosh pit which they maintained for several songs.   

Machine Head UK 

I’m not quite sure how Machine Head managed to pass me by, even though they’ve been around since 1999 and especially as they’ve released fourteen albums, thirteen singles and loads of music videos. This meant that tonight as far as I was concerned, I was watching a new band. I have to say they didn’t disappoint either. The songs they picked, I imagine, are the biggest hits for the band and I really got into them for my first time hearing Machine Head UK, it has actually made me want to go and download music from the original artists. 

Chop Suey 

The members of Chop Suey are. 

Andre Joyci (drums) from Breed 77 

Tommy H (guitar) from Anti-Nowhere league 

Sam Dormann (bass) from Dragon Force  

Martin Jackson (singer) from Confyde  

This band has all the ingredients to sound amazing, and they did! They performed System of a Down’s biggest hits including Aerials, BYOB, Toxicity, Chop Suey and Sugar, to name a few. I honestly can’t fault them either, they were outstanding to say the least. Martin may not look like Serj Tanken but his voice was remarkably like his. I stood back and watched the crowd for a while and I couldn’t help but smile, they were lapping it up, singing along and enjoying every moment, they were really invested in the band in front of them.  Near the end of the set Martin (Serj!) went into the crowd to sing while a confetti gun was fired above him. 

Back on the stage Martin takes the opportunity to introduce the members of the band and announces that the whole Forever Nu concept is the brainchild of ex-Breed 77’s Andre Joyci, and by now I’m thinking, he’s a genius. Not only has he put the whole show together but some of the musicians double up and play in more than one band, Andre also played the drums in Machine Head UK and Martin also sang with Evanescence of Fire for ‘Bring Me to Life’ as well as at least two other members crossing over into the Spouky Kids.  

Spouky Kids 

I have to admit, this is the band I was looking forward to seeing the most, not taking anything away from any of the other bands, it’s just the simple fact that I love Marilyn Manson and I have seen him live so this was the tribute band tester for me. Because all the other bands had hit the mark, I was hoping that the Spouky kids would do the same, but I was prepared to be very critical if they didn’t deliver a Marilyn Manson experience. 

To start with they absolutely nailed the look, to the point that I couldn’t stop staring, he had painted nails, a metal brace, big boots, corsets and contact lenses, all looking very authentic. 

The set was all my favourite tracks which were sung to perfection, he even disappeared off stage at one point to put on stilts. Before I knew it, I was singing along with everyone else, and I can’t fault the performance at all. 

Set List 

This is the New Sh*t 

Disposable Teens 

The Dope Show 


The Nobodies 


Tainted Love 

Sweet Dreams 

The Beautiful People 

Personal Jesus 


The Fight Song 

My verdict on tribute bands  

Am I now a fan of tribute bands and would I go to another show? 

Yes, I would, it was great fun, I heard songs from a band I haven’t listened to before but will now.  I heard songs that I loved and sang along to. The performances were great, these are accomplished musicians, and I could see the bands had put a lot of work into their stage presence to bring a sense of being at the real thing. I feel they allow people to see and hear bands that are either no longer together, or the original band’s tickets are way out of their budget, and it’s also a bit of nostalgia. 

However, they shouldn’t overshadow new music and up-and-coming bands who write their own material and work hard to make a mark in the industry, it’s essential that people support the music of today because at one point that’s where the bands that are being copied started out. 

For tickets to their next show on the 23rd Sept 2023 at Thekla Bristol go to  

Review and Photographs by Linda McDermott 

Moving Pictures (Rush Tribute) – Live – The Garage -shockcityproductions

Review By Darren McIntyre

A Mind-Blowing Ode to Legends RUSH – Moving Pictures Live @ The Garage, Moving Pictures is the exciting trio that pays homage to the trio of Lee, Lifeson & Peart.

Tonight is my first time catching Moving Pictures as the last time I was sick but rest assured I made sure that I was going to get acquainted with this fantastic cover band, I made my way backstage to find Steve, Eoin & Jamie as I was about to interview the trio and get to know what makes them tick and what makes them play the music of RUSH, we find a quiet corner and get into the chat which will be broadcast in the next day or two for you all to see, the night is filled with excitement and tension as showtime approaches and the place is filling up nicely which is great to see for a tribute show. I take my place at the curtain as the trio step on stage to rapturous applause as they wave and smile at the full house that is before them 

The setlist was an impeccably crafted tapestry of Rush’s greatest hits, seamlessly weaving through the decades. Classics came to us like a hurricane as we led with R30 which got this crowd whipped into a frenzy as they watched in awe at this powering trio as they lit up The Garage tonight.

We lapped up the applause and watched as the band readied us for ” La Villa Strangiato” which set the tone for tonight’s look back at one of the finest bands to grace a stage anywhere, as the crowd were getting warmed up we strolled straight into ” Tom Sawyer” that erupted The Garage into a wall of sound as they got to grips with what was in front of them tonight.

The sublime playing from Steve, Eoin & Jamie was just incredible as they really are masters of their craft and I can tell you that Jamie is one fine drummer and is the driving force for the two boys as she brings the rhythm section front & centre with her colossal playing, we roll into “Red Barchetta” which was the backbone of the Moving Pictures segment of tonight’s epic show.

We rolled through the classics in the form of “YYZ, Limelight, The Camera Eye, Witch Hunt & Vital Signs all of which got this crowd excited as they sang at the top of their voices and the band smiled from ear to ear as they saw the joy in peoples faces tonight and I for 1 was glad I came to the show courtesy of my good friend

Peter from ShockCityProductions as he was telling me I would not be disappointed with tonight’s entertainment.

But it wasn’t just about the music. The visual spectacle accompanying the performance was a true homage to Rush’s legacy. The lighting, the visuals, and the stage presence transported us through Rush’s iconic album covers and live shows. It was a mesmerizing fusion of sight and sound, creating an experience that was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

One thing that really struck me was how the band managed to capture the intimate camaraderie that Rush shared on stage. The chemistry between the members of “Moving Pictures” was palpable, mirroring the tight-knit bond that made Rush legendary. It was as if they were channelling the very essence of these rock pioneers.

In the second segment of the show we take a leap through their massive catalogue of song covers the likes of “By Tor, Between The Wheels, Stick It Out, Far Cry and drop into the mesmerising Closer To The Heart that took the noise level up a notch or two.

The band takes us on a journey through “Lakeside Park” which leads nicely onto Steve telling the audience that they are catching a plane to Canada on Wednesday to Play at the famous Lakeside that is close to their charity work that they have carried on through Neil’s sister and this brings a huge round of applause.

As the night drew to a close, we were treated to the classic “Xanadu” which got us all hot and sweaty and the sound reverberated through the venue, I found myself in a state of musical ecstasy. “Moving Pictures: A Rush Tribute” didn’t just perform Rush’s music; they channelled their spirit, energy, and legacy. This wasn’t a mere tribute; it was a musical séance that connected us to the very heart of Rush.

We hit the last segment of the show and were handed the deep pounding sound of “Working Man” & “The Sphere that finished a magical night that treated every RUSH fan to a journey that tells the story of this magical band and their connection to their legions of fans all over the world, I came away thinking that was something special as I got to witness a masterclass that spellbinding in the way that Steve, Eoin & Jamie drew us in and spun us around and left us wanting more, tonight was an incredible night that will be with me for a long time to come.

Moving Pictures  –

                            Steve Brown  –  Guitars / Pedal Keys / Vocals

                            Eoin De Paor  –  Vocals / Bass / Keys

                            Jamie Dunleavy  –  Drums / Percussion

Setlist  –


            La Villa Strangiato

            Tom Sawyer

            Red Barchetta



            The Camera Eye

            Witch Hunt

            Vital Signs

            By Tor

            Between The Wheels

            Stick It Out

            Far Cry

            Closer To The Heart

            Lakeside Park


            Working Man

            The Sphere