MOTEL California, a tribute band to The Eagles, were created nine years ago when the first tentative steps were made in putting the band together by Peter Davies, the leader of the group.

Over the years determined to recruit only the very best musician / singers and, after a few line-up changes, the group settled with the now well-established line up of Chris Belfield, Dave Wilkinson, Matt Drury, Peter, Simon Le Geyt and Steve Crow.

The Eagles themselves were formed in Los Angeles in 1971 and with five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums, became one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California, were ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and the band was ranked number 75 on the magazine’s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The Eagles are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 150 million records—100 million in the U.S. alone—including 42 million copies of Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and 32 million copies of Hotel California. “Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)” was the best-selling album of the 20th century in the U.S. They are the fifth-highest-selling music act and the highest-selling American band in U.S. history.

To replicate the sound of this superb band is not easy particularly with the intricate harmonies involved but Motel California do a pretty good job of this.

Their opening number of Hole In The World written about the 911 disaster in New York and taken from the Long Road Out Of Eden album was excellent in this respect.

The band moved then from this, the last of the Eagles’ songs they recorded, to the very first – Glen Frey and Jackson Browne’s classic Take It Easy from 1972.

Other hits from the Eagles catalogue followed – Lying Eyes, Peaceful Easy Feeling, One Of These Nights, Witchy Woman, Tequila Sunrise and The Best Of My Love.

Glen Frey’s 1985 composition You Belong To The City used in the TV series Miami Vice followed, with Steve the drummer playing the saxophone part and Matt who had been lead singer for all the songs so far moving onto the drums for this particular number.

This was followed by two more classic Eagles numbers - Take It To The Limit and Heart of The Matter before concluding the first half with Wasted Time from the Hotel California album.

The second part of the show commenced with The Long Run, followed by New Kid In Town, Love Will Keep Us Alive, Life’s Been Good, Don Henley’s 1984 song The Boys Of Summer and then In The City from The Long Run album.

And to conclude the show there was Heartache Tonight, Life In The Fast Lane and finally the classic Hotel California.

The long applause from the audience brought the band back on stage for three more numbers – Desperado, Rocky Mountain Way and then to conclude The Sad Café from The Long Run album from 1979.

For those of us brought up on The Eagles’ music during the 1970s this was a trip down memory lane.

However, I had two main brickbats about the concert, the first being that the amplification by the band on certain numbers was too loud for the size of the theatre at Guiseley where occasionally the lyrics were somewhat inaudible and secondly, which is nothing the band could influence at all, the fact that behind me was a guy who insisted on stamping and singing along to the songs but whose voice left a lot to be desired.

Thanks go to Chris Ingram from Guiseley Theatre for arranging this event and we look forward to many more such evenings of musical entertainment.

l John Burland