Top 10 Fake Movie Bands You’d Love To See Perform Live

Fake movie bands are a big deal. You go to the movies wanting to be entertained, so if you watch a film with a fictional band, you want them to do a number of things: You want them to entertain you, have great songs, be able to play their instruments, and sometimes provide comedy relief. Hell, that’s more than you ask from some real bands!

We feel these fake movie bands sometimes don’t get the credit they deserve, so, in no particular order we’ve put together a list of the best fictional bands that would be great to see live, and why.

 

Band: Stillwater

Movie: Almost Famous

Stillwater

Cameron Crowe’s classic coming-of-age movie about a young wannabe rock journalist in the early 1970s as he follows the band Stillwater on tour. This movie is a love-letter to Crowe’s early life and, being such a big music fan, the director wanted to make sure this fictional band had songs as good as real bands of the era. To do this, he enlisted his then-wife (Nancy Wilson of rock band Heart fame) and 70s stalwart, Peter Frampton to pen the tracks. 

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

The best place to see Stillwater would be at a festival on a crisp summers day with lighters (not phone screens) in the air, flares in full swing and free love the vibe in the crowd.

The band would form a pre-stage huddle to psyche themselves up, then go on to light up the arena with electrifying guitar, a stomping drum beat, and crisp vocals as they slide into the band’s main hit, Fever Dog.

 

Band: Wyld Stallyns

Movie: Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey

Wyld Stallyns

Two teenagers from San Dimas form a garage rock band that is absolutely awful but eventually goes on to save the world. Keanu Reeves plays Ted Theodor Logan – one half of Wyld Stallyns, in one of his earliest, and some would argue most memorable, roles. This surf dude/buddy/coming-of-age teen comedy provides many laughs, copious amounts of air guitar riffs, and a crazy storyline that takes you on a mind-bending journey.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

It depends when you see them. If you see them in their state from the beginning of the movie, they would be truly awful. The ‘princess babes’ on drums and keyboard are great, but Bill and Ted on guitar both suck. If, however, you’re at the gig from the end of the movie where they use their phone box time machine to spend a year getting good at guitar (and also having babies), then you’re in for a treat when they kick into their version of Kiss’s God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You’. And if you haven’t seen the movie and are completed baffled by what I’ve just said, just go and watch it.

 

Band: The Soronpfrbs

Movie: Frank

The Soronprfbs

No, that’s not a spelling mistake, that’s the actual name of this band. The movie is based around the trials and tribulations of a struggling UK musician who falls in line with an underground indie band when their keyboardist tries to kill himself (it’s not actually as depressing as it sounds). Oh, did I also mention the band’s lead singer has a fiberglass head based on 70/80s musician/comedian Frank Sidebottom? It may sound odd, and it is, but it’s also a truly fantastic film with some fantastically experimental indie music.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

Dizzying experimental sections, word-twisting poet-like lyrics, fuzzy guitars and soaring synths. You’ll be wondering what you’ve just seen, but also completely addicted to it and left wanting more. Track Love You All is a real quality song that any indie band would love to have in their repertoire.

 

Band: The Blues Brothers

Movie: The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

No fake movie bands list would be complete without Jake and Elwood. Starting out as sketches on Saturday Night Live from actors/comedians John Belusihi and Dan Aykroyd, this was expertly turned into the classic blues musical that they’re remembered for today. Featuring hard-hitting names such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown taking on musical numbers throughout the movie, it really is a star-studded piece of cinema with surreal sections, fast-paced car chases, and some great songs.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

Plenty of blues riffs, big names popping up within the band, lots of fast feet shuffling and a jolly good time had by all. The set may end with Carrie Fisher (if she were still alive, RIP) firing a bazooka at the stage and rubble cascading down on the band. Minutes later, the band would miraculously climb out from under the rubble unscathed. Once again, watch the movie if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

 

Band: School Of Rock

Movie: School Of Rock

School Of Rock

Arguably Jack Black’s greatest movie, he takes on the role of Dewey Finn; a failed rock musician trying to find a way to make ends meet, but also not give up his dream of being a rock star. This ends up with him pretending to be his housemate to land a teaching role, and enlisting a bunch of kids to help him win the battle of the band’s competition. The kids were actually not only hired on their acting ability but also their ability to play instruments. This makes for a great ending sequence when everything comes together and they perform the movie’s big tune, School Of Rock. Think all the classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC rolled into one and you’d be on the right tracks.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

Lots of riffs, lots of power stances, Jack Black monkeying around on stage, and a bunch of parents in the audience all dewy-eyed about how great their kids are. The gig would likely be over pretty early so the children can get home in time for bedtime, but this doesn’t mean the show wouldn’t rock, and rock hard.

 

Band: The Soggy Bottom Boys

Movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The Soggy Bottom Boys

The Cohen Brothers classic movie follows the misadventures of a trio of jailbirds who escape in a bid for freedom. Set in Mississippi in the 1930s, it’s full of deep south blues and bluegrass. The trio happens upon a man who will pay them to sing into a tin can. This tin can is actually part of a recording studio, and the owner distributes the track with the trio marketed as The Soggy Bottom Boys. They eventually become megastars without even knowing it until later in the film. There are not many fake movie bands based around bluegrass, but these three are, without doubt, the best.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. Banjos, scratchboards, fiddles and maybe some side-stage whittling. Plenty of ‘one-footing’ across the stage and harmonious vocals as the band belt out their classic track, Man Of Constant Sorrow. You may even see the band get chased off the stage by the local law enforcement as they make a dash for freedom.

 

Band: Sex Bob-Omb

Movie: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Sex Bob-Omb

Based upon the graphic novels of Bryan Lee O’Malley, this movie is full of pop-culture references, video game tidbits, and some damn good music. Well, it should be; the songs for the band Sex Bob-Omb were penned by famed artist Beck himself, making for some fuzzed out catchy tracks full of garage band loveliness. The artistic style of the movie perfectly plays along with the music as Scott fights his way through Ramona’s 7 evil ex’s to win her affection. Fake movie bands are not always cool, but Sex Bob-bomb manage to be so without even trying.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

Fuzz, and lots of it. Scott’s instrument of choice is the bass, and you might even get to see a ‘bass off’ as two bass player battle it out until only one stands. Drummer Kim Pine may cut in at any moment to shout ‘WE’RE SEX BOB-OMB!’ and lead singer Steven ‘The Talent’ Stills may freak out that they’re never going to get signed.

 

Band: The Cantina Band

Movie: Star Wars IV: A New Hope

The Cantina Band

There’s no need to explain the plot of this movie, as every man and his dog know it. But some of you may not be so familiar with the notorious Cantina band. Only on screen for about a minute, they’ve managed to sneak their way into fans hearts with their odd looks, space-age jazz, and ability to start again right on queue after a barroom scuffle. Legendary film score pioneer John Williams penned the infamous track Cantina Band #1 which sees the band ‘jazzing’ out as our titular heroes Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker enter the Cantina.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

First of all, the venue would be dark and seedy. Secondly, it would be full of shady looking aliens. And thirdly, if you’re unlucky, Obi-Wan might be in the crowd and lob someone’s arm off with a lightsaber. But, The Cantina Band wouldn’t let any of this phase them, never missing a beat and providing the perfect background music for all the dodgy goings-on in the crowd.

 

Band: Spinal Tap

Movie: This Is Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap

Another band the top ten wouldn’t be complete without, and perhaps one of the greatest fake movie bands of all time. Being the influence for much of today’s ‘documentary’ style comedy, this ‘rockumentary’ highlights the silliness, egos, fallouts, and camaraderie of a band on the road, and is as influential and groundbreaking today as it was when first released. Being made in the 80s, the ‘cock rock’ influences are profound and hilarious, with the actors proving their comedy timing throughout. The songs and musicianship are actually pretty decent also, with the band even performing gigs in real-life.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

If they made it onto the stage without any break-ups, tantrums or prop issues, you’d be in for an 80s rocked out good time. If you’re lucky there would be a full-size stone henge that the band would play around, big guitar solos, mystical spoken sections, and you just know that everything would be turned up to 11. Singer and guitarist Nigel Tufnal may perform an encore of the beautifully arranged track, but not so beautifully named, Lick My Love Pump.

 

Band: Marvin Berry & The Starlighters

Movie: Back To The Future

Marvin Berry

In one of the greatest movies of the 80s (and a personal favorite of mine), we see teenager Marty McFly team up with crazy scientist Doc Brown who has invented a time machine out of a Delorean. Crazy adventures ensue, and part of this sees Marty thrown back in time to 1955. He needs to attend his parent’s prom to make sure they fall in love and is eventually born. A crazy story right? It’s actually all extremely clever. The band at the prom are Marvin Berry & The Starlighters, with lead singer and guitarist Marvin Berry being the cousin of legendary rock ‘n’ roll artist Chuck Berry. Marvin injures his hand so Marty steps in to make sure the band continues to play and his parents fall in love, but he gets too big for his boots and starts playing Chuck Berry’s Go Johnny Go. The crowd loves it and Marvin immediately phones his cousin Chuck during the song, holds up the phone and proclaims that this is the new sound he’s been looking for. So, there you have it. Chuck Berry stole Go Johnny Go from Marty McFly, who stole it from Chuck Berry – all very confusing.

 

What you would expect seeing them live:

Likely to be playing at a prom or other such even they’ve been hired to perform at. Slow melodies and doo-wop rhythms would definitely be heavy on their list to make sure all the teenagers get to slow-dance with their best gal. A plucky teenager may jump on stage and steal the show with fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll, and eventually get taken over by the rock spirit as he plays out of control guitar solos and knocks over amps.

 

And there you have it, our top ten fake movie bands. If you feel there’s anyone we’ve shamelessly overlooked or your favorite is missing from the list, please let us know in the comments below!

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