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“Never Dreamed You’d Return…”

As the immortal words from “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” state – “My God it’s been so long, never dreamed you’d return…” and it certainly felt that at one point, maybe we wouldn’t.

External and internal issues and pressures meant we reached a point at the end of last year where we had simply fallen out of love with what we were doing. When you spend so much time listening, reading, learning, researching and practicing every minute detail of something you love and care about so much, there’s always a danger of becoming burned out at some point.

One of the things we’ve always taken pride in, is our total commitment to the cause, so carrying on felt like we’d not only be cheating ourselves, but YOU – the wonderful people who travel endless miles and spend your hard-earned money to give you the most accurate and authentic performance of Pearl Jam‘s music possible.

Spending the first half of the year avoiding anything and everything to do with Pearl Jam, we were slowly sucked back in due to the European Tour Pearl Jam were undertaking in support of their album “Lightning Bolt”. After not seeing each other for most of the year, we bumped into each other at the Pearl Jam Leeds Arena gig.

It’s safe to say we completely and totally fell back in love with the band in a big way after witnessing a show that is already being talked about as “historic”.

A few days after the show, we talked about getting back in a room together and a rehearsal was booked.  From that first rehearsal onwards, we’ve never sounded better. We played like we’d never been away, learning new songs and polishing the old – even now finding details in songs we thought we knew inside out.

There’s a renewed sense of purpose and a dedication to uphold our status as “The Worlds Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute” and we’re all genuinely excited for the future once more.

We have some big news to announce soon, so stick with us. We promise it’ll be worth it.

We’re back.

Pearl Jammer.

Tickets are selling fast for our only show of 2014! Get yours now before they’re gone!

The Worlds Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute. £10 advance £12 door. http://goo.gl/Df3wo2

%Pearl Jammer %Live
Pearl Jammer Live @ The Zanzibar, Liverpool 06/12/14

#PearlJam #PearlJammer

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Eddie Vedder - Imagine

Eddie Vedder releases “Imagine”

Eddie Vedder releases John Lennon’s “Imagine”

%Pearl Jammer %Live
Eddie Vedder – Imagine

Eddie Vedder’s performance of “Imagine” from his July 18 concert in Portugal is available now on iTunes.

Proceeds from sales will go to Heartbeat.fm, an organization that provides opportunities and spaces for young Israeli and Palestinian musicians to work together, and amplify their voices to influence the world around them.

Available here: http://smarturl.it/EV-Imagine

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All The Photographs Were Peeling…

Hello ladies and gentlemen.

The website overhaul is now almost complete, with hundreds of photographs added to the galleries page on here – some that have never been seen before!

There’s still a few more to come and we’ll be adding all future live and promo photo’s to this website, but for now enjoy some great shots from our previous gigs.

See you on the road.

%Pearl Jammer %Live
Eddie Vedder, Italy 1993

 

PJ.

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Pearl Jammer – The Worlds Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute!

Welcome back to the (new) official website of Pearl Jammer – The Worlds Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute.

It’s been a long time coming after taking most of the year off, but we’re back, re-focused, re-energised and ready to go!

We’re currently working hard at home and in rehearsals, listening to Pearl Jam’s amazing catalogue of music, studiously picking apart every nuance, watching every video so we can learn as many new songs as we can to add to our already incredible setlist.

The website is also undergoing an overhaul, with content being added all the time. Bear with us whilst we catch up with everything.

It’s exciting for us to be back playing this wonderful music and we’re looking forward to seeing you wonderful people once again at our shows.

It really is an honour and a privilege to perform these songs, so together let’s scream our lungs out until it fills the room…

See you soon.

Pearl Jammer

%Pearl Jammer %Live

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“Troubled souls unite” (The Diamond – Nottingham 29/09/13)

After the disappointment of last weeks show in Newcastle, we were itching to move on and play the kind of night we know we’re more than capable of.

The Diamond, situated just outside Nottingham seemed like the perfect way to exorcise the demons of disappointment.

The venue itself on arrival, seemed a bit nondescript — situated on the edge of a housing estate, we were slightly worried it was going to be a bit “phoenix nights” if truth be told. However, like an Aladdin’s cave, once inside we were lifted by the venues charm and obvious history. It was akin to a Rock Cafe vibe, with gig posters on the walls from years gone by.

Soundcheck went well, utilising the time to have another full run through of “Deep” (the pre-tour pain in the ass song…) which settled any nerves we may have had, along with “Corduroy”, “Daughter” and “Wash”.

We hit the stage at exactly 9.15pm, opening with the now-typical “Wash” into “Once” combo that Pearl Jam seemed to favour on this tour, before working our way through the rest of the set they played some 21 years ago.

“Garden” has become probably our favourite song to play at this point, along with a special mention for “Leash” — which tonight finally clicked 100%. I felt like we finally owned the song and played it without any thought or trepidation, with the performance reflecting this confidence we’ve grown into.

The second set kicked off with “Elderly Woman…” — back in tonight’s set, as it’d been a while since we played it last, also keeping with true Pearl Jam tradition of rotating songs as often as possible.

My throat was in quite a bad way tonight (something I felt in the days leading up to the show) and Worldwide Suicide is probably the hardest song in the Pearl Jam catalogue at the best of times, but it (oddly) seemed to help the performance.

The final trio of “Daughter”, “Do The Evolution” and “Rearviewmirror” (the setlist says “Betterman” but we changed our minds…) built the perfect crescendo to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

For a Sunday night in deepest, darkest Nottinghamshire, I’d say it was about as good as it gets.

Next up is Birmingham. A gig we’ve got a really good feeling about…

%Pearl Jammer %Live

 

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“It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead…” Pearl Jam – Sirens

%Pearl Jammer %Live

Having heard the new Pearl Jam single “Sirens” last night, it’s been on repeat ever since. I fell asleep listening to it and woke up this morning and pressed play once more — finding myself in a constant loop.

I don’t recall being this overwhelmed by a song in a long, long time and that (for me) is the strange thing about this piece of music…

On first listen, I thought “great”. A well crafted song with good dynamics, well performed (as always). Usually, I can listen and just know I’m going to fall in love with a song. Sirens though,  took me by surprise, because all the talk pre-release was about how (in the words of Brendan O’Brien) this song was “one of the best they’ve ever written”.

Big words indeed and surely too bold a claim to leave at the door of a band into their 23rd year of existence?

Wrong.

Sirens is everything you’d hope it would be and more.

The song starts out innocently enough, with Mike McCready strumming a 12 string acoustic whilst Matt Cameron interjects with some (almost) November Rain type drum-fills, but it’s Stone Gossard‘s guitar weaving between the space created that hints at what is to come.

The verses are executed perfectly by Eddie Vedder, who sounds as good today as he’s always done — weaving a lyrical tapestry in a way only he can, setting up the story and giving just enough information to reel you in, but with enough ambiguity to make you question exactly what the song is about.

The chorus is big, but not overtly bombastic — keep just enough restraint to avoid the territory of Nickleback and the like, who wouldn’t know subtlety if you shaved the word into Chad Kroeger‘s shit beard.

In fact, it’s not until 4 minutes 45 seconds into an almost 6 minute song that the true crescendo is unleashed.

That final 1 minute 15 seconds is amongst (or possibly even) the greatest that Pearl Jam have committed to tape in my opinion. It only works in such a way, because of the deftness of hand they displayed up to that point.

As someone once said to me, “the true sign of genius is the one who can use his best ideas sparingly” and it feels almost as if 3/4 of the song was a teaser for the final reveal.

I was excited for Lightning Bolt before I’d heard anything, mainly because it seemed like the band were going to give it a real push — which to me suggested they had something they were very proud of.

If this song is anything to go by, then we’re all in for an album that stands proudly next to their greatest work previous.

Hear the sirens
Hear the circus, so profound
I hear the sirens
more and more in this here town

Let me catch my breath to breathe
and reach across the bed
Just to know we’re safe
I am a grateful man
This life has been a light
and I can see clear
how to take your hand, and feel your breath
or feel this someday will be over
I hold you close, so much to lose
knowing that nothing lasts forever
I didn’t care before you were here
I danced with laughter
with the ever-after
But all things change. Let this remain.

Hear the sirens covering distance in the night
The sound echoing closer, will they come for me next time?
Oh every choice, mistake I’ve made, it’s not my plan
to send you in the arms of another man
And if you choose to stay, I’ll wait, I’ll understand

It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead
If I think too much, I can’t get over
Wound by the grace by which we live
our lives with death over our shoulder
Want you to know that should I go
I always loved you, held you high above too
I study your face, the fear goes away

It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead
If I think too much, I can’t get over
Wound by the grace by which we live
our lives with death over our shoulders
Want you to know that should I go
I always loved you, held you high above too
I study your face, and the fear goes away
The fear goes away
The fear goes away
The fear goes away

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“I took a drive today” (The Roadhouse – Manchester 14/09/13)

Well, last night (and today…) will go down as the most eventful gig we’re ever likely to play.

The day started out well enough. We were all excited to play Manchester for the first time (as this band) and at a venue that had played host to some great bands over the years.

We arrived at the studio early (for once…) and had the van loaded up and ready. We were awaiting the arrival of our guitarist Rob (“Mike”) and we were “good to go” when events took a strange turn…

My phone starting ringing, and it was Rob trying to call.

Me: “Hello”
Rob: “Hello, Kev (his voice cracking with emotion)… erm, I’m sorry — I’ve been in a serious car crash…”

Without relaying the entire conversation, in short, a motorbike driving at an estimated 60/65mph in a 30mph zone drove into the back of Rob’s car, completely writing off the car and bike in the process whilst launching the driver over the top of the car and into a tree.

%Pearl Jammer %Live
I took a drive today…

We quickly set off to see Rob and make sure he was ok. Playing the gig at this point, seemed highly unlikely and being honest, it was the furthest thing from our minds.

Arriving at the scene and explaining who we were (the road was cordoned off), my exchange with the first police officer went something like this:

Me: “Hi, I’m here to see if my friend Rob is ok. We’re in a band together and were meant to be in Manchester an hour ago”
Police: “What band?”
Me: “Oh, just a tribute to a band called Pearl Jam. I’m sure you’ve never heard of them…”
Police: “I’ve heard of Pearl Jam. I’m quite into Punk too. Did you play at Revolver Venue (Wirral) a few months ago?”
Me: “Erm, yeah…”
Police: “Ah, yes – my Daughter went to see you play. I’m coming with her in October to watch you too…”
Me: “…”

With that, he let us through and after waiting a further 45 minutes, we finally got to see and talk with Rob. We were surprised when he said he wanted to play the gig.

We were told by another police officer at the incident that we “probably won’t be making it to Manchester tonight” so we called the promoter and said “I don’t think we’ll be playing…”  – the gig was off.

After a further wait of around 30-40 minutes, the news came through that Rob was free to go and with that, the gig was back on!

It seems the driver of the bike only broke both ankles and wrists, whilst skinning one of his legs to the bone…

Not to be callous, but doing 60-65mph in a residential area with a limit of 30mph, I think he got off lightly. But there you go.

So, we arrived at Manchester over 2 hours later than intended and proceeded to set up and sound check in record time (mainly thanks to our engineer/wizard “Ben”).

After sound check, we stepped outside the venue and by chance two Transport Police decided they were going to do a “stop and search”. For drugs. On Rob. His day was becoming almost comical…

%Pearl Jammer %Live
Stop and Search

The gig itself was, like the ones before it — as good as it gets. In what is now becoming “the norm” (and something that we in no way take for granted), people sang every word, danced, jumped and generally helped us create that “Pearl Jam in a club” vibe that everyone (maybe even the band themselves?) pines for.

We played a “Ten” set for the first part, before a “greatest hits” set for the second.

It’s so hard choosing from the 50 or so songs what to play at the best of times, but even harder still when the first 3/4 are already chosen for you. But, that again shows just how great a band they are.

As always, a pleasure and a privilege.

Next up, Newcastle!

p.s The morning after the gig, my girlfriend was also involved in a car accident when a car failed to stop at the lights and drove into the back of her. Strange end to a strange weekend.

%Pearl Jammer %Live

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“Why Go Home” (The Borderline – London 07/09/13)

Next up on the “Ten Revisited” tour was London’s Borderline venue — a stage that Pearl Jam graced on their tour of the UK back in 1992.

Reading about their show here, one thing that stuck in my mind was the comment on how “small the stage” was. Worrying, for sure — but if they could handle it, then surely we could too…

Arriving at the venue after a 1 hour drive turned into a 5 hour endurance test (f*cking EDL march — another reason to hate them from this day forth…), we quickly loaded in and sure enough, the stage was… small. Probably one of the smallest stages I’ve played on thus far, but the venue itself was fantastic from the wonderful and courteous staff, through to the extremely comfortable dressing room area complete with full “rider” of food and drink.

Soundcheck was swift due to our late arrival, but our borderline (no pun) genius/lunatic touring engineer (Ben) had us sounding great in no time. The venue PA was class (as was the “in-house” engineer’s wondrous beard”) so we felt comfortable that the show would go  off without a hitch.

Radio Seattle (tonight’s support) played a great set, with a collection of songs from the same era being received gratefully by the now burgeoning crowd, so I’d like to extend our thanks to them for playing.

The light’s dimmed, our intro music started (we’re using Master/Slave from “Ten” for this tour) and we walked onstage to an extremely warm welcome.

Wash kicked off the nights proceedings (as it seems to on most of this tour…) which is a great warm up for the rest of the set, with the crowd responding in kind.

Once, again raised the level (it’s at this point I start the gauge the crowd reaction…) and by the first chorus of “Once, upon a time”, the crowd and band were singing in unison. A hint of what was to come.

Even Flow (as always) is the turning point in every set we play with tonight being no different, arms extended and voices singing along with every word. The feeling onstage is almost indescribable when this happens, seeing the sheer joy on everyone’s face, but it’s safe to say that my hairs were on-end for most of the song.

Alive and Black were the next combo in the set, and as I explained on the night it always feels almost wrong to play such great songs so early on, but — this was their set and who are we to argue? As an aside, I always wonder to myself “did they play these songs so early because they didn’t realise just how BIG the two songs were?” which, if it was the case only further shows just how humble they really are/were.

Deep made it’s debut tonight, a song we’d never performed before and a few shaky moments aside, it’s a really fun song to play and one we’ll improve on I’m sure.

Jeremy, Why Go, Porch, Garden (our new favourite) and Leash closed out the set before we left the stage, returning shortly afterwards for “part 2″ of the evening — the “new” songs.

Wishlist (a great song to play) opened the second set, before launching into Worldwide Suicide (the hardest song to sing out of the 50+ we know…). Animal had the crowd singing once more, before Daughter and “Another Brick in The Wall” tagged on set up the penultimate song — Betterman.

Every Pearl Jam fan out there knows that this is the part of the show where they get to sing. Tonight’s crowd didn’t disappoint and looking around the room, as far as I could see — every single person sung every single word.

It’s quite overwhelming at times eliciting such a response and one that we’re immensely proud of. We’re just the vehicle for 2 hours of some of the greatest songs of our lifetime. It’s the crowd that makes it what it is on the night.

We feel privileged to play for you.

Long may it continue.

%Pearl Jammer %Live

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The Worlds Greatest Pearl Jam Tribute