A pair of brothers from Marlpool have been named as the nation’s best musical tribute act for their touring show of songs by rock and roll pioneers The Everly Brothers.
Steve and Colin Temple took top spot at the National Tribute Music Awards in Leicester on Wednesday, July 5.
Despite having honed their act to perfection over more than ten years on the road, the news still came as a shock to the brothers.
Steve, 37, said: “It’s a fantastic feeling. We’ve never won anything before, and just couldn’t believe it, but we’re absolutely made up.
“It’s not something we’ve really gone after, we just love going on stage and entertaining people. I thought you only won awards for music if you were in the charts, not for being in a tribute act.”
The brothers have been playing together ever since their school days at Heanor Gate.
Steve said: “Our music teacher Mrs Taylor pushed us to learn and we’ve always enjoyed it, but I don’t think she thought we’d take it this far.
“We’ve been playing professionally since 1993 in lots of bands playing different sorts of music, but we’ve mostly settled into the Everlys now.”
Like many boys who need a little steering through life, the winning idea actually came from their mum Glynne.
Steve said: “We’d been looking to do something as a duo for a while and were talking about it on a family holiday.
“Mum said ‘look at the reaction you get every time you do an Everly Brothers song’—we didn’t think we sounded that close to them but we realised she was on to something.”
Colin, 35, had to teach drummer Steve how to play guitar for the show and the Everlys famous harmonies took a long time to master.
Steve said: “A lot of tribute artists don’t sound like the original, they’ll change the key or won’t get something quite right.
“For us, it’s essential to perform the songs exactly as they were recorded. Sometimes you’ll see someone in tears in the front row and you can see how much the song means to them—that’s what we’re meant to be doing.”
He added: “With the Everly Brothers, every song has a story and every part of it has a meaning.”
The incredible results mean that the brothers have never been short of work or fans.
Steve said: “We’ve been all over the country, done Thomson cruise ships, hotels in Cyprus and Rhodes.
“Bruce Welch from The Shadows has been to see us, and Shakin’ Stevens too - he called me after a show to say how much he’d enjoyed it.”
Glynne, who also lives in Heanor, still takes an active interest in their career.
Steve said: “She supports us all the way, but if something’s not right she’ll give us a kick up the backside.”
Luckily, she is not required to solve too many family tensions, said Steve: “Getting to work with my brother is amazing. We’ll sometimes have our rows like anyone else, but I couldn’t go on stage without him.”
Whatever it takes to keep the show on the road is clearly working, and the Temples are gearing up for their busiest time of the year.
Steve said: “Most weekends we’ll be performing shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but over the summer its five or six nights every week. In between we’re calling theatres, booking new dates.”
The tribute circuit may not be as glamorous as the real thing, but Steve thinks there are some similarities: “The travelling can be a pain, but it’s all worth it to get up on stage. Nine out of ten times we’ll get a standing ovation, and that feeling’s like a drug.
“The most important thing is that every who comes along goes home with a smile. This isn’t a job, it’s something we love doing.”