Impact’s Ellie-Mae Davies had the opportunity to chat to Alan Cosgrove (Cos), founder member and drummer of Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac. They discussed the band’s history, why they chose Fleetwood Mac and tour life.
Rumours of Fleetwood are a popular tribute band who honour the legacy of Fleetwood Mac and their music. I had the opportunity to interview the founder member and drummer of the band Alan Cosgrove (Cos). He initially detailed the band’s history, forming in 1999, when the term ‘tribute band’ was still being established – “tribute wasn’t quite understood… why are all these bands playing other people’s material?”. They performed about 25 dates across the UK during their first tour and saw the initial popularity of the concept – “people came out to see it and it was like wow, there’s something in this.”
Cos described his first experiences with tribute, after seeing The Bootleg Beatles, and how it inspired the idea of a Fleetwood Mac tribute band. After watching, he was asked if he could form a tribute band, who would it be? – “I said I think it’d have to be Fleetwood Mac.” He mentioned a few childhood musical influences such as The Beatles and The Swinging Blue Jeans but recalls how new and different Fleetwood Mac sounded because it was blues. Cos commented on Fleetwood Mac’s “great catalogue of music” even when they first started out, now there’s over 50 years of music. We then discussed the legacy of the album ‘Rumours’ and how “it transcends generations, it’s standing the test of time.”
Fleetwood Mac’s music overall varied in genre and as Cos explained there was “the blues element of Peter Green and the 60s”, “the great pop songs from Christine McVie”, “then you’ve got Stevie Nicks, she’s country esque rock” and “the edge of punk and indie, Lindsay Buckingham”. Cos described this diversity as perfect for them as musicians as well as it being great for fans as “there’s not one point of focus”.
“we play it note for note” – “it’s our duty to look after that because we’re playing their legacy.”
He emphasised the band’s ideology and pre-requisite of being a member of Rumours of Fleetwood Mac – “you understand the catalogue and all the great music and how precious it is to the audience.” With both the band and the album being hugely popular, Cos also mentioned that “we play it note for note” – “it’s our duty to look after that because we’re playing their legacy.”
Their upcoming tour starts on 3rd April and the band are performing 64 dates in different locations across the UK. I asked Cos how he’s feeling about the upcoming tour and he responded, “we love coming back to the UK”. The band have taken the tour all over the world including South America, across the United States and are soon taking it across Europe and Australia. Cos mentioned that they’ve changed up the set this year to honour the passing of Christine McVie and remember her musical brilliance in the band – “we’re excited to play some of Christine’s stuff that we haven’t played in a long time.” The tour overall this year is gonna “ooze some love off the stage for Christine McVie and thank her.”
Fleetwood Mac’s music is loved by so many people and fans have personal memories attached to them
After discussing some of Fleetwood Mac’s incredible material, I asked Cos what his favourite song is to perform. He mentioned Tusk because of the drumming elements but chose Sara because it spiritually embodies Fleetwood Mac and “hooks me back to a time and place in my life”. Fleetwood Mac’s music is loved by so many people and fans have personal memories attached to them. Cos emphasised how he and the band also have lots of memories and how special that is – “but how powerful that is, that’s a testament to the band.”
Cos recounted stories of when Mick first watched the band and how supportive he has been along the way
We moved onto discussing how the touring process has changed throughout his career as a musician and I asked how him and the band prepare for tour life. Cos explained that when the band were first establishing themselves on tour, they had a small truck and an MPV, whereas now they have two tour buses. The longevity and popularity of the tour was unexpected for Cos – “It’s like the John Lennon question, ‘how long do you think this will go on for?’. I didn’t think it’d go on for this long”. Another important part of the tour’s success for Cos and the band is the support from Mick Fleetwood, one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac. Cos recounted stories of when Mick first watched the band and how supportive he has been along the way. He is included in each tour by sharing a message at the beginning, before the concert starts – “Mick’s last words this year before we start the gig are ‘safe in the hands of our dear friends Rumours of Fleetwood Mac’”.
To wrap up the interview, I asked Cos to sum up the upcoming tour in a sentence and Cos replied, “Thank you to Christine McVie, thanks to Chrissy.” He elaborated by saying “I think it’ll be tinged with a little bit of sadness but we’ll take the standing ovations for it.”
Featured Image courtesy of Matt Ford. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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