Bon Giovi – By Jove, They’re Incredible (The Railway Venue, Bolton 24th March 2012)

Before I go any further, can I apologise? At Rock-Zone UK we pride ourselves on bringing you the latest and best in all things rock and here I am reviewing tribute acts….. “What the blinking blimey flip is he up to? I hear you cry (not least from Editor Sue).

Well, and here’s the rub, I had absolutely no intention of reviewing any of the tributes that I see each week – most good, some great and some fabulous but not the original artists so maybe reviews of tributes should be left to others? Two weeks ago I saw Gallus Cooper who I felt were so good they deserved a reveiw (if nothing else so that if they come your way you definately go and see them). I thought that would be it for quite a while……and then came Bon Giovi.

Quite simply, Bon Giovi are the most amazing tribute band I have ever seen. Having lost count of the number of times that I have seen the real Jovi (including meeting Mr Bon Jovi himself), I was looking forward to having a good old singalong to the songs I have loved for years (and some of the ones that I have loved much less…are you listening “Always”?) plus probably pointing out any inaccuracies to the lovely Mrs W like the guitar geek fanboy that I can be. Showtime arrived just as I was stood at the bar and then someone said hello to me…..bloody heck, that looked just like Jon Bon Jovi!

Song after song, the more accurate the boys in the band came across. as slick, accurate and as five genuine Bon Jovi fans. Even better, unlike the money making industrial conglomerate that the real band have become (“hey fan club members…as a reward for your years of loyalty and buying all our records, blah, blah, blah you now have the chance to be in the rows towards the front and possibly meet the band. All for just £350 each!” ), Bon Giovi played a set that contained all of the favourites and more (with no sign of the godawful country tracks from Lost Highway). What’s more, all this for £7 (less than a tenth of the cheapest tickets for last years show at Manchester’s cricket ground).

Two great sets, encores and even, despite announcing the end, another song to round of a brilliant evening. Loads of happy smiling faces (crowd, band, staff) as we all went home and I bet there were a few sore throats from all the singing the next morning.

Truly awesome – you have to see them when they come to your town! I can’t wait for their return to Bolton later in the year.

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