Tribute Acts Management In The Press!
Check out the recent article about our company director Matt Hall.
Matt makes his mark on the stage with Take That tribute
When he’s on stage, Matt Hall is the cute one who smiles a lot and gets the loudest screams.
But are the screams for Matt Hall, or are they for Mark Owen? After five years in a Take That tribute band, the lines between reality and fantasy have become a little blurred.
Matt, who plays Mark Owen in tribute act Rule The World, says it’s a role that occasionally gets under his skin.
“During the show we ad lib and talk to the audience. We’re in character so I take on Mark’s voice and mannerisms. Sometimes I find myself still talking like him when I’m at home too, it freaks my friends out a bit,” laughs Matt, of Gomersal.
The confusion doesn’t end there. Matt’s girlfriend is Baby Spice in a Spice Girls tribute act and Sarah Harding in a Girls Aloud tribute.
By day Matt is the director of Tribute Acts Management, which promotes tribute acts; auditioning performers and putting shows together. By night he performs with Rule The World, which has gained a loyal following of fans.
The four-piece – they have a couple of ‘floating Robbies’ in case they’re booked as a five-piece – evolved from a Take That musical called Back For Good.
“When we first started in the show we’d have long rehearsals then go home and study endless footage of Take That, watching DVDs and interviews to make sure we got their look, mannerisms, dance routines, harmonies and voices just right.
“The look and height of each person is also imperative. I come from an acting background and I approached it as playing a character,” says Matt, 22.
“We were in the show for a couple of years then I set up Tribute Acts Management and we all continued as a tribute band.
“We try to be the very best Take That tribute we can and we’re always keeping an eye on their latest public appearance and news to make sure we keep our show up to date.
“We had a tweet from Gary Barlow calling us ‘brilliant’ – that was amazing.”
Rule The World has its own loyal following of fans. “The atmosphere at gigs is electric – the fans love it,” says Matt. “They give us sweets after shows and follow us round – some have seen us in concert more than 100 times!”
But fans may be bereft to know that one member is leaving – Dominic Moccia, who plays Howard, is going to university, leaving the band seeking a replacement.
“We’re looking for someone who can sing well, as Howard occasionally takes lead vocals – he sings Never Forget, which is our big finale – and who has good harmonies and dance skills, including basic breakdance moves,” says Matt.
The band take their mirror image so seriously each member is prepared to change their own appearance to match the real Take That.
“We feel a big responsibility to get it right. If they change their hair we do so as well. When Gary Barlow lost weight, our Gary did too and now he’s never looked better,” says Matt.
“When Robbie came back we had to get a Robbie as well. No-one yet knows if the real Robbie will be on Take That’s tour next year, so our new show lies in his hands!
“It keeps it exciting. If you’re an Abba or a Queen tribute act you’ve got your back catalogue and your style, but we could be a four or five-piece depending on what’s required. We have two Robbies – Tony Lewis and Mike Andrew – if we’re booked as a five-piece.”
While Matt plays Mark Owen, the other band members are Dan Maines as Gary and Joe Currey as Jason.
Are they all Take That fans?
“When we initially auditioned for Back For Good they were back in the charts with Patience, but none of us were really fans,” says Matt.
“But since doing the research and performing as them we’ve become massive fans. Their shows are fantastic and they put everything into them.”
As well as appearing at regional venues, including St George’s Hall, Rule The World have performed as a headline act on Caribbean cruise ships and at a festival in Spain.
“Being in a band like this gives you experience of all aspects of performing – one night we’ll be singing for 300 people at a working men’s club and the next we’re at a huge festival in Barcelona with crowds of 20,000,” says Matt. “It’s about adapting the show.”
Matt juggles being on the road in Rule The World with running Tribute Acts Management, based in Cleckheaton.
“We have about 15 acts on the books and we’re also an agency for other tribute acts,” he says.
“There are a lot of tribute bands out there but they’re not all good. We’re very conscious of keeping up the high quality and keeping it affordable. Acts are booked for events like weddings and parties.”
Matt met his girlfriend, Holly Merrington, 17, while judging a talent show. Holly is in a girl band, Tres Belle, which reached the ‘bootcamp’ stage of this year’s X Factor, and she’s also in Spice Girls and Girls Aloud tribute bands. Other tribute acts on the books include Adele, Britney Spears, Dean Martin, the Beatles, Katy Perry, Lady Ga Ga and Madonna, and there are harmony groups, function bands and ‘singing waiters and waitresses’.
“We’re looking for local performers to join bands,” says Matt.
After joining Idle theatre school Stage 84, aged eight, Matt became a chid actor, landing roles in TV dramas such as Heartbeat, The Royal and Unforgiven, alongside Suranne Jones. He won Stage 84’s Student of the Year award before leaving at 18.
“I don’t think my mum and dad expected me to stick it out so long, but I had a great time and made some close friends,” he says.
“It can be difficult fitting in auditions around the band and running the business, but I really want to carry on acting too.”
Anyone interested in auditioning for Howard in Rule the World is asked to visit tributeactsmanagement.com for more information and they would need to email a CV, photograph and video/sound clip email@example.com to apply.
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