Our Crack Tongue & Groove
What fresh hell is this?
I’ve seen a few tribute acts in my time – Jarrow Elvis, Hebburn Cliff, Peterlee Bublé – but I’m afraid I have to draw the line at tribute clubs. To recap: The Cavern Club in Liverpool was a hotbed of jazz bands and skiffle groups in the 1950s and 60s. I think the Beatles may have done a turn there once or twice. It closed in the early 70s and was filled in during construction work on the Merseyside underground. It was excavated in the early 80s but tests revealed that the arches of the old cellar had been too badly damaged to resurrect the club and thousands of the original bricks were flogged off. Consequently, it was rebuilt with a new design, which was as close to the original as possible. A tribute. It looks suitably fab, and has been a great success, but it is a facsimile. And now we have the prospect of Cavern Clubs springing up all over the world, which, if anything, will appeal to fans of Jean Baudrillard more than mop-topped pop fans. The French postmodernist went nuts for simulacra and simulation and a Cavern Club in São Paulo is as hyper-real as they come. It’s a tribute to a tribute to a tribute. A spokesman burbled: “After 27 years of owning The Cavern, we’ve seen visitors arrive from all over. However, not everyone can make this journey so we’re delighted to be taking our beloved club to the world.” Imagine you’ve no scruples. It’s easy if you try.