Bet you did not know that some of the best tribute bands of favorite legendary groups have come out of Turkey. Not only are a number of skilled Turkish musicians playing the music of legends like the Beatles and Pink Floyd, but there are also a number of bands from Turkey and abroad that are reviving music from Turkey’s favorite musical genres.
Turkey’s Pink Floyd revival band
The group 7 Pink Floydlar ve 2 Prenses is Turkey’s very own Pink Floyd tribute band. They have been playing the band’s famous songs to near absolute perfection – their sole mission since the band was founded over a decade ago.
Presenting a very special opportunity to hear the legendary band’s songs performed live, 7 Pink Floydlar ve 2 Prenses originally consisted of nine members, including two female vocalists. Though its lineup has changed over the years, its current members include vocalist and guitarist Tolga Baloglu, guitarist Baris Kiran, Okan Kosun on bass, Ozkan Ozsoy on drums, vocalist Damla Topcu, Emir Urunsal playing saxophone and British Expat James Taylor on the keyboard. You can watch them perform Pink Floyd favorites such as “Wish You Were Here,” “Another Brick in the Wall” and “Hey You” at their upcoming show this Thursday, Nov. 8 at Dorock XL in Kadikoy.
A Kind of Vision: A Turkish tribute to Queen
A Kind of Vision is an Ankara-based Queen revival band led by Yunuscan Kaya on vocals and piano, who interestingly bears quite a resemblance to Queen’s front man, Freddie Mercury. You can catch A Kind of Vision, a four-man band which also includes Orcun Buker on electric guitar, Ulas Tercan on bass and Gokhan Çimen on drums, for a special “Freddie Mercury Show” at Dorock XL Kadikoy on Thursday, Nov. 22.
Have you met ‘Meat the Beetles’?
It would be completely remiss to write about cover bands in Turkey and not talk about Meat the Beetles as they are Turkey’s well-deserving resident Beatles cover band. Not only are they extremely popular in Istanbul – where they play frequently – Meat the Beetles has also achieved international recognition, being invited to play a dozen gigs at the 2012 international Beatleweek festival in Liverpool as well as playing a 2014 revival of the Beatle’s famous rooftop concert on Gothenburg Terrace.
The band consists of vocalist Emre Cotelioglu, Gorkem Baharoglu on lead guitar and vocals, Selçuk Tuzel on acoustic guitar and vocals, İlker Gocmen on rhythm guitar, keyboards and vocals, Arif Ortakmac on bass and Canberk Emir on drums. Their repertoire includes 70-plus Beatles songs, and you can easily hear them perform at least half that number at every concert they play.
A brief on Turkish pop culture
If you have not seen Retrobus perform yet, you are in for a treat. Retrobus is a revival band of Turkish popular and cult songs spanning from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Rather than an Akbil, theirs is a “rockbill,” vocalist Firat Şahverdi tells me in which they take their audience on a flashback tour through the popular culture in Turkey during those decades. Decked out in full costumes fitting the time, Retrobus performs a wide variety of genres spanning from psychedelic, arabesque, rock and pop, while also screening in the background iconic scenes from Turkey’s cinematic golden age, the Yeşilcam era.
Frontman Şahverdi is also famed for his skilled impersonations of Turkish musical icons Baris Manco, Cem Karaca, Erkin Koray and Ilhan Irem. They play at least nine different instruments, including a hybrid double-neck baglama and guitar created by the band’s guitarist Murat Yerden, who also happens to be a kemenche maker.
Other members include a psychologist and even a ship captain. While they regularly play in Istanbul, this month they will be on tour throughout Turkey in November with shows lined up in Luleburgaz at Lydia on Fri, Nov. 9.
They will be in Denizli at Downtown House on Saturday, Nov. 10. On Wednesday, Nov. 21 Retrobus will play in Mersin at Hayal Kahvesi and on Nov. 23 and 24, they will play in Nigde at the Casablanca Bistro Pub.
A Dutch-Anatolian rock group comes to town
Altin Gun is a Dutch Anatolian rock group based in Amsterdam that will be performing in Istanbul on Nov. 23 at Salon IKSV. As the story goes, it was during a trip to Istanbul for a concert when bassist Jasper Verhulst was first introduced to some of Turkey’s most famous psychedelic folk music performances by the likes of Selda Bagcan, Baris Manço and Erkin Koray. Since then, the bassist has formed his own Turkish psychedelic folk tribute band, which has captured the spirit of Turkish music in the 70s and includes Merve Dasdemir on vocals, Erdinç Ecevit Yildiz on saz, Ben Rider on guitar, Gino Groeneveld on percussion and Nic Mauskovic on drums, and they are currently touring Europe.
Another great opportunity to watch this beloved genre in Turkey brought back to life by skilled musicians. Tickets are TL 70 ($13) for adults and TL 50 for students and are available on Biletix.
Source: Daily Sabah