The Unravelling Wilburys set to perform at The Old Courts

The Unravelling Wilburys
The Unravelling Wilburys

A band of musicians are giving the idea of a tribute gig a spin with their unusual show blending humour, stories and songs.


The Unravelling Wilburys are coming to Wigan for a gig at The Old Courts later this month.

The band pays tribute to the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys which brought together five of the biggest names in rock music - George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne from ELO.

However, that is only half the tale as Thumper, Blind Melon, Sticky Willy, Walter and Javelin also spin a narrative about how the five superstars stole their tunes back in the late ‘80s in Nashville, Tennessee.

However, as the show progresses fans will discover how the musicians, after spending 21 years touring Beatles tunes as Sgt Pepper’s Only Dart Board Band, managed to claim back what is theirs and hit the road as The Unravelling Wilburys.

Things did not exactly run smoothly, with a court case in Hazzard County taking place along the way, but finally permission was given and note-perfect renditions of songs such as Handle With Care and The End of The Line is the result.

As well as the songs the supergroup recorded on their two albums as The Traveling Wilburys, Volumes One and Three, the tribute musicians have also helped themselves to some choice cuts from the five stars’ glittering solo careers.

That means fans can expect a show full of some of the greatest songs recorded in the folk, country and rock genres.

The group’s unusual show has drawn plaudits from music fans, with one review saying The Unravelling Wilburys “captured the style and sounds perfectly and with their own added sense of humour”.

Beneath the comedy, though, The Unravelling Wilburys have been praised extensively for their tight musicianship.

The tribute show at the Crawford Street venue is on Friday May 31 at 8pm. Tickets are £15 in advance or £18 on the door. Book by ringing the box office on 01942 834747 or visiting www.theoldcourts.com