Put that signature hat and dark glasses on,slip on the leather jacket,hand him a mike,and Stuart Wilkinson is a splitting image of U2s legendary vocalist and guitarist Bono. Mark Roberts pulls off a pretty neat Larry Mullen Jr,U2s drummer and percussionist,Alan Gilliprand fits the bill as The Edge on guitar,keyboards and vocals,while Tony Elliot completes the rocking set as Adam Clayton on bass guitar. If the living legends of rock,U2,have a doppelganger,this Liverpool-based quartet that goes by the name of Elevation (quite aptly christened after U2s song),is living it up as the perfect twin. At the Golf Club for Seagrams 100 Pipers Pure Music gig on Wednesday night,crowds cheered the members of Elevation as they paid a befitting tribute to U2. The members also spoke about how emulating the iconic rockers never really leads to any identity crisis.
We are not U2,but just like their famous song Elevation,we will give you a taste and experience of U2, says Wilkinson. Also an actor,songwriter and artist,Wilkinson was the lead vocalist for the band Indian Summer and says he fell in love with India when he visited the country 10 years ago. There has been a striking change since then,but the traffic,and the vibrant sights and sounds,are still the same, he adds. Yes,we are inspired enough to fuse Indian music in our album coming up next year, adds Elliot,who also runs a music production company called Catapult Enterprises.
On a debut India tour (except for Wilkinson),the four have been entertaining the audience with the U2 experience since 2002. Weve been associated with music for as long as we can remember,forming bands and playing all over the place. When we got together,we had this instant connection our love for U2 and how our style was so similar to the famous band. There is something immensely captivating about U2,and we decided to play their music, says Roberts.
The physical resemblance,too,worked to their advantage. Soon,Elevation became the go-to band for a U2 effect. The fact that they stick to live renditions instead of recorded versions also makes their acts memorable. We fill in the space between the real U2 album releases, says Gilliprand,adding how while U2 gigs are reserved for a 70,000-plus crowd,they cater to small gatherings.
Although theyve never met the legends in person,they agree it would be somewhat surreal to come face to face. Im inspired by Bono his songs,lyrics,music,voice,everything. And yes,Ive asked this question to myself many times if I am losing my identity in all this. Shouldnt we be making original music? But then,we all have had flourishing careers in music and our modicum of success,and this is pure fun, says Wilkinson.
Weve paid our dues and unlike the instant success generation of today,we have risen from the bottom rungs. Now is the time for some dividend,to enjoy good music and what better than paying homage to the greatest,with a smile on our faces and song on our lips, says Gilliprand.