READY TO ROCK: The Pearl Jam tribute band is being formed by Northern Rivers locals Andrew Buckle, Mark Daley, Lee Smith and Takani Dillon.
READY TO ROCK: The Pearl Jam tribute band is being formed by Northern Rivers locals Andrew Buckle, Mark Daley, Lee Smith and Takani Dillon. Contributed

Loving tribute to Pearl Jam to play "test" gig at Broadwater

A PEARL Jam tribute band which is being formed locally will play a 'test' gig at the Broadwater Hotel on Friday, September 19 as it leads up to an East Coast tour next year.

"We're doing local shows to trial the songs, then looking at doing a tour of the East Coast of Australia early next year," said lead singer Lee Smith, who lives in the Broadwater area.

"It's all Pearl Jam material. It sounds very much like Pearl Jam, and we're making it look like Pearl Jam too."

Local Members

Joining Lee in the band are lead guitarist Andrew Buckle, from Alstonville, drummer Mark Daley, who also lives in the Broadwater area, and bass player Takani Dillon, from Nimbin.

Lee said that, with the help of sound engineer Adam Biggs, the band had been working on the project for three months.

New DVD and tour

"We're putting together a promo DVD, which will be on Channel 10 early in the New Year," he said.

"We've also been offered a gig doing an Australian tribute band tour early next year. The tour includes different rock tribute bands.

"We're also doing a separate tour, the Pearl Jam Tribute Show Black Tour, right up the East Coast of Australia, from Melbourne to Brisbane."

The band is set for a busy schedule, doing about 100 gigs, including two in the capital cities, in the first six months of next year.

If that proves successful, they will look at taking the tour to South Australia and Western Australia.

All ages

The band has plenty of experience to call on. Lee is 37, Mark is 37, and Andrew is 45.

Adding youthful enthusiasm is 19-year-old Takani.

"Mark and myself have been playing together for 25 years," Lee said.

"We've been playing as New Spirit, a contemporary rock covers band that's been going about three years. We've played gigs from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane."

The pair have met with success locally, winning five Dolphin Awards, and have been in bands which have been support acts to bands such as Def Effect and Grinspoon.

Lee says all the band members are big fans of Pearl Jam.

"We're all Pearl Jam fans and we've been wanting to do this project for a long time. It's finally coming to fruition," Lee said.

The first 'test' gig is at the Broadwater Hotel on Friday, September 19.

It's a free gig.



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