UK tribute act brings ‘Rumors,’ other Fleetwood Mac hits to US

Rumors of Fleetwood Mac is devoted to recreating the sound of that multi-platinum-selling band — at least to a point.

Unlike the real Fleetwood Mac, the British tribute act didn’t fire its Lindsay Buckingham for its current tour and replace him with members of tribute bands for Crowded House and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“That was a shock to all of us,” said Allan Cosgrove, drummer and music director for Rumors. “The chain has broken again. I think the band just keeps reinventing itself. Who know what this new band is going to leave behind regarding a legacy.”

Fleetwood Mac is no stranger to turmoil. If anything, that turmoil has inspired some of its greatest artistic accomplishments, including the album “Rumors,” which the tribute act will perform in its entirety when the band plays Packard Music Hall on Saturday.

The marriage of John and Christine McVie and the relationship between Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were crumbling, and Nicks ended up with drummer Mick Fleetwood. The discord during the making of “Rumors” produced such memorable songs as “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain.”

“The first half of the show, the first set is the ‘Rumors’ album in track order, just like you’d put the vinyl on,” Cosgrove said.

“We’re trading in nostalgia. The formula of these types of shows has always been about the music. It’s not about the way we want to play it, it’s about being true to the original albums. The only thing lacking is we didn’t write the songs.”

The rest of the band features Jess Harwood, lead vocals, as Nicks; James Harrison, lead guitar and lead vocals, as Buckingham; Emily Gervers, keyboards and lead vocals, as Christine McVie; Etienne Girard, bass, as John McVie; David Goldberg, keyboard, vocals and guitar as Peter Green; and Scott Poley, extra guitar and vocals.

Fans who only know the Buckingham-Nicks incarnation of Fleetwood Mac may not be familiar with Peter Green, but the Mac was a successful blues-based rock act in England in the late 1960s / early ’70s before achieving multi-platinum rock and pop success in the mid-’70s.

The Peter Green-era of the band always has been a part of Rumors. The band won’t be playing as much on its first U.S. tour as it does for U.K. gigs, but the Packard audience can expect to hear “Oh Well,” “Black Magic Woman” (best known in the States for Santana’s cover of the Green original) and “The Green Manalishi.” The songs from the Green era and other Fleetwood Mac favorites fill the second half of the show.

“It’s bloody hard to have to select from so much material,” Cosgrove said. “We finish up with ‘Tusk,’ where I can do me Muppet thing on the drums and have a good time with the audience. It’s a great privilege and honor to play those songs.”

Cosgrove has been doing it for 18 years, and the band has earned the endorsement of Fleetwood.

He described Fleetwood as a very spiritual drummer.

“From my perspective, it’s about learning all the parts, Mick’s spiritual way of playing,” he said. “It’s learning them and then forgetting them and just going out and doing it.”

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