Glen John of Triple-X, resident band at Rain, highlights the best and worst from the band’s set, just for us
‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries
‘Zombie’ is one of the big favourites at Rain, just like everywhere else in the city! And the other big one is ‘Hotel California’, of course. Rain is pretty interesting, because we’ve spent the last five or so years playing at El Paso and the contrast is huge. El Paso was a real British expat bar whereas Rain is very mixed – there are locals, Russians, Indians – so it’s a different ball game and 60 per cent of our old repertoire doesn’t work any more. But ‘Zombie’ always goes down well.
‘Proud Mary’ by Tina Turner
In the old place Alison, the band’s founder and lead singer, would sing ‘Proud Mary’ with this big, crowd-pleasing ending and it would completely take the roof off. Now we get a couple of people clapping. The parameters of the audience have changed and so the band is becoming something else. Our music is becoming more mainstream, but now we have the room and the budget to be a seven-piece band rather than a four-piece, so we can really do a lot more with the songs than before.
‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion
Alison sings this beautifully. Her sister died very young and so she recorded the song for her funeral and played it in church. It means a lot to her, that one, and it’s a big song. Which songs mean a lot to me? None, really. [laughs] Anything that’s a challenge on the vocals, I suppose.
‘Paradise By The Dashboard Lights’ by Meat Loaf
We used to get a big reception with this song, but we haven’t tried it at Rain yet. We really should give it a try though. It’s a long one, but it’s a very interesting song, and if the vocals are strong it will just fly by. OK, if you do it badly it becomes long and dull, but we pride ourselves on being strong enough vocalists to perform them.
‘Lady Marmalade’ by Labelle
This works well because Triple-X is a very female-led band. Alison is definitely the boss. We’ve been working together for 12 years or more and there’s always been a strong female presence. There aren’t enough female-led cover bands where the women are actually great singers rather than just pretty girls with OK voices. You don’t see an awful lot of that on the covers scene.
‘La Bonita’ by Madonna
This is one that we do for the audience. They like it, but I think it’s very ordinary and old-fashioned, and it doesn’t give you any kind of vibe when you’re performing it. Some songs wear out because we do them a lot and some we still enjoy because there’s a bit of body to them. This is one of the tired ones. This and ‘Dance The Night Away’ by The Mavericks, but that’s just embarrassing.