I don’t usually bother with so called “tribute” acts. You know, artists and bands who make a living, or not as the case may be, singing someone else’s songs. I’ve nothing whatsoever against this genre because there’s a huge market for it. But, as ever, I will always make one exception: T Rextasy.
We’re going to see T Rextasy tonight, once more at the excellent Fleece in Bristol which, as a small hall, will always be one of my favourite venues. It has an old fashioned flavour and feel to it, right down to the sticky floors from all those spilled drinks. Anyway, T Rextasy.
T Rextasy is essentially one man, Danielz who, for the night, almost literally becomes Marc Bolan. As soon as the first note strikes up, you wonder if it’s the man himself, somehow come back to life. The look, the voice, the mannerisms and actions – everything is pure Marc and when it comes to the songs they are all played exactly as the writer intended.
When I was at school, you were either T Rex or Slade, except for those who liked Motown, Stax, Santana, Edgar Broughton and Nazareth. If you were Slade, you were a bit hard and if you were T Rex you were a bit soft. I’m not sure I was that soft, having lost an epic fight in the school playground at my junior school with Derward Roberts, but I wasn’t feared by many. (Actually, epic fight is an exaggeration since Derward smashed me into a bloody pulp, after which we became the best of friends and, with the knowledge out there that I had dared fight him, I never had trouble again with hard cases at school.)
Ride a White Swan was the first single I ever bought with my own money, 2 minutes and 15 seconds of pop perfection, and I was so jealous at Marc Bolan’s corkscrew hair. I also had a big boy crush on him which made me question my own sexuality, at least until Curved Air came along and I fell deeply in love with Sonja Kristina, their beautiful lead singer. Every single got better than the last. From Swan to Hot Love, Get It On, Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Metal Guru – after which Marc had some issues with quality control, though he occasionally came back to form with the likes of The Groover and the mighty New York City.
Danielz does all these tunes and many more, including if you are very lucky some deep cuts from the Slider or Electric Warrior, all played with love, affection, accuracy and no small passion.
T Rextasy is no tribute act and if you ever get the chance to see them, take it.