Meet Scam Fender, the viral tribute band honouring Geordie icon Sam Fender

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Scam Fender are honouring Sam Fender and Bruce Springsteen with their shows

Over the past few years North Shields singer Sam Fender has captured Geordie hearts like no other.

The Brit Award Winner’s passion for the North East, relatable lyricism and down to earth personality have made him a Tyneside export to be proud of.

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Fender’s tracks are anthemic for those in the region, as tribute band Scam Fender found as they went viral earlier this year.

NewcastleWorld chats with the band about how they formed, what makes Sam so special and where you can catch a show.

Q: How did 'The Scam Fender Band' come about?

A: "The short version is that we played 'Seventeen Going Under' for fun at a gig in Newcastle, purely because it’s an amazing song. Someone filmed it and then it went viral on TikTok, probably because of the funny name if we’re honest.

"That then ended up on Greg James' Radio 1 Breakfast Show, people assumed it was a fully-fledged thing and wanted us to come and play for them. So I thought 'why not' and so we've learned nine more songs, along with some Springsteen tunes, and booked a gig at Riverside on April 1st to play them at. We can’t wait."

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Q: Who makes up the band and how do you know each other

A: "We live in Newcastle and play all sorts of music together all the time, both our own songs - we've just completed our 'Hamburg 156' songwriting challenge to write 156 songs in a year - and also lots of covers.

"One of the main things we do is a band covering the music of The Killers called The Kopycat Killers.

"We have headlined at a lot of the big summer festivals in the North East and further afield in recent years, it's tremendous fun and it keeps us busy with about 50 gigs a year.

"Sam Fender is actually supporting the Killers in London this year, which fits really well as both are in thrall to Bruce Springsteen - so there is a link and a lineage there."

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Q: Why does the North East love Sam?

A: "Fans of literate, passionate guitar music have had very little to cheer for nearly 20 years and now we have a situation where that is changing and the North East's very own Sam Fender is the real deal.

"He has it all - lyrically, musically, the politics, the personality, the pipes, everything. Not only that, despite the name being 'Sam Fender' on the tin - it is so clearly a proper band too! The fact they are all from the North East and that the area has birthed these amazing songs is brilliant, what’s not to love?"

Sam Fender was a winner at The Brit Awards last night (Image: Getty Images)Sam Fender was a winner at The Brit Awards last night (Image: Getty Images)
Sam Fender was a winner at The Brit Awards last night (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Q: What's your favourite song of Sam's and why?

A: "'Seventeen Going Under' I think, it's an incredible song, probably the best song of the last decade. His writing, especially lyrically, on the second record has really taken it up a level too. Songs like 'Aye' and 'Spit of You' are astonishing lyrically, and that combination of lyrics which could stand up as poetry in their own right, and also unbelievable tunes, is so rare - but Sam Fender has it in spades."

Q: You're playing a show at the Riverside in April. What can people expect if they come down to that?

A: "Just lads from Newcastle doing their best to play and sing some amazing Sam Fender and Springsteen songs.

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"Hopefully we will do it with the spirit and the energy with which they were intended to be performed. It's not a lookalike contest or some kind of impersonation, it's five musicians performing some amazing music and we aren't holding out to be anything more than that, but that's more than enough for a great night.

"Also, Sam Fender often plays multiple Bruce covers at his own shows, and I suspect would love to do even more and clearly idolises him. So we get to live out that element too by letting the saxophone out on the open road on some tunes by the boss!"

Q: It's been an exciting beginning... where do you hope this venture takes Scam Fender?

A: "We haven't got any ambitions whatsoever for it beyond enjoying playing these incredible songs to people that want to hear them. The Riverside gig on 1st April is nearly sold out, so we will probably do another one on 19th November at the Northumbria Uni Students Union along with the Killers band we do. Why not, and should be a lot of fun!"

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