Hell’s Bells! Top Tribute Acts Set to Rock the Villa

Classic rock fans are in for a treat this TT.

Legendary local tribute acts DC/AC and Pigs on the Wing have headline performances at the Villa Marina over the coming week.

The AC/DC emulators, complete with lead guitarist Paul Daugherty in full Angus Young mode, will be saluting rockers on Saturday night, with Pink Floyd tribute Pigs on the Wing set to take the audience to the Dark Side of the Moon on Tuesday.

Playing before packed audiences at the island’s leading indoor venue is nothing new to these groups, with a long record of shows to packed audiences in previous TTs and special occasions, such as the celebrations to mark the first time the Island was Covid-free.

But that doesn’t reduce the thrill for the performers – or the fans. The fact that Manx music lovers return time and again to see the tribute acts is testament to how good they are. Richard (Dick) Raine plays in both bands and is looking forward to a busy week. When the dry ice starts and he prepares to set foot onto the stage in the Villa’s Royal Hall, there’s no danger the bassist will ever feel numb – comfortably or otherwise.

‘I joined Pigs on the Wing first – I was the new boy about 20 years ago! DC/AC started off in 2014,’ he said. ‘It’s good fun for us and the audience. These days, if you go and see a big band, the chances are you are going to be half a mile away.

‘We do the full thing. The last two or three years, our friend Ali who does all the projections for Pigs on the Wing, has been doing it for DC/AC as well, and what a difference it has made, a big logo on the screen, all the explosions. It is fantastic. ‘We have spent a lot on pyro for DC/AC, as well. The cannons go off, flames. People get the full experience. We do a big show with Pigs on the Wing, too.’

Even after many shows there’s always something new. ‘We vary the sets because, thankfully, people keep coming back, and we don’t want to think it was the same as it was last year,’ said Richard. Given that both bands have brilliant back catalogues covering decades, you can be certain that set lists will be packed with classics, with the promise of some ‘deeper cuts’ rarely heard live.

‘The people who come to see us know what they are going to get. It’s nice to know they are going to enjoy the music.’

The big shows are huge highlights in the calendar but you can often find the bands performing in pub venues around the island. ‘No one ever asks us to turn down the volume, the camaraderie is brilliant!’

There are still tickets available for both DC/AC and Pigs on the Wing at the Villa Marina, Douglas.

Show details:
Saturday, June 4:DC/AC (support from Mad Daddy) Tickets £20. Doors open 7pm, first act
approx 7.45pm. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult, under-14s must have an
allocated seat in the upstairs circle.

Tuesday, June 7: Pigs on the Wing. Tickets (downstairs only), adults £20; children £12.50.
Strictly 14 and over and anyone under-16 must be accompanied by an adult. Show: 8.30pm.
Tickets at http://www.villagaiety.com or, if still available, on the door.

Band line-ups:
DC/AC: Ade Bruce (vocals), Paul Daugherty (guitar), Kev Cleator (guitar), Dick Raine (bass)
John Cleator (drums).
Pigs on the Wing: Pete Williamson (vocal/guitar), Chris Honour (guitar), Ian Wright (keys),
Steve Leach (drums), Dick Raine (bass); plus Sammy Johnson (saxophone), Jo and Juan
Callister (backing vocals)

You can buy tickets here.

All pictures credited to Gary Weightman/Vannin Photos.