Volume 91, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 27, 1998



Even better than the real thing

By Donna MacMullin
Gazette Staff

What do Spam, Cheez Whiz and Without a Doubt have in common? They're all cheaper imitations of the real stuff. Or can these imitations be seen as tributes to the originals that made it big? At least this is the case with Without a Doubt – the tribute band to No Doubt making its way to The Spoke tonight for a free concert.

The show is the third of a four-part series of tribute bands appearing at The Spoke Friday nights throughout January. The series started with the Practically Hip, a tribute to the Tragically Hip on Jan. 9 and Jagged Little Pill, a tribute to Alanis Morissette last Friday.

Pete Stanbridge, manager of Entertainment Productions on campus, says the idea for free tribute acts came after offering shows at The Spoke from really great bands that just weren't getting the crowds.

However, Stanbridge says as the entertainment scene goes, this is the bottom of the cycle. "It's not that there aren't talented original acts out there, but to be able to afford them in a smaller venue it's too much money," he says. "Every school is saying the same thing."

Don Lafromboise, keyboardist for Without a Doubt, says he was in an independent band for more than 10 years, but he joined the tribute act which formed about eight months ago – mainly for the money. "We had to start playing somewhere," he says. And so far the gig has paid off – Lafromboise says he has played more in the last eight months than he has in the last 10 years.

However, money was not the only reason Lafromboise enjoys playing in the tribute band. "There's always the fear that you won't get the same response from the crowd when you're only playing your own stuff, rather than what people know – and when you're independent, you can get kind of sensitive about it," he says.

In terms of how much similarity Without a Doubt bears in comparison to No Doubt, Lafromboise says the lead singer tries to dress like Gwen Stefani and the rest of the band tries to act like the other band members, but he maintains they are not trying to copy them too much. "We don't just play No Doubt stuff anymore, we play songs from other bands too."

The tribute act plans to incorporate more of their own material in the future, considering it doesn't look like No Doubt will be releasing a new album any time soon. "I don't know how long this will last," Lafromboise says, admitting that he wouldn't mind changing their format. "We don't even really like to be called a No Doubt tribute anymore."

While Lafromboise emphasizes his desire to alter Without a Doubt's performance in the future, for now he recognizes there is a demand for the genre and people like it.

"These are free shows which offer live entertainment, so there is no reason why [students] can't enjoy it," Stanbridge agrees.

Next Friday, fans of the Stone Temple Pilots can check out their almost-like-the-real-thing tribute, Lounge Fly, at The Spoke.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998