There aren’t many venues in town that can accommodate a ten-piece band, but The Beach B’ys are certainly making their rounds of the venues that do. The Beach Boys tribute band, formed just over a year ago, was born out of a house party, beer and, of course, karaoke.
There is a lot going on in The Beach Boys music and The Beach B’ys aim to capture it all.
Their members include Jordan Young, Ryan Kennedy, Dicky Strickland, Jeremy Rice, Andrew Wickens, Natasha Hartery, Allison Sheffield, Jeff Ford, Ryan Taylor and master screecher himself, Keith Vokey.
The number of instruments played by this musically-experienced ensemble is nothing short of spectacular. The tribute band sports guitar, sax, keys, drums, glockenspiel, trumpet, trombone, accordion, harp, bongos, finger bells, mandolin and a banjo. Not to mention an assortment of tambourines, shakers and whistles.
There is a lot going on in The Beach Boys music and The Beach B’ys aim to capture it all. Their musical influences are no less eclectic as they include the obvious favourites (The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, etc.) to the more interesting.
“I only just recently discovered Randy Newman but he has this song called I Love L.A. and I’m into that. Pretty, pretty cool,” says Rice.
Kennedy is declared the biggest Beach Boys fan during a recent rehearsal — of which there are many. They manage to get together regularly each week and Young attributes this to the laid back and enjoyable atmosphere at rehearsals.
“It’s not hard to convince people to get together and have a good time and sing great music and drink a few beer,” says Young.
‘It’s still a party and these songs are 50 years old’
The band credits this accessible fun as one of the main reasons their shows around the city have been such a great success. The positive surf-rock made popular by The Beach Boys is a familiar crowd pleaser, though Wouldn’t It Be Nice is an obvious favourite. Thus far, the ten-piece have played everywhere from garden parties and busker festivals to full-on music venues, including The Ship and The Rockhouse.
The group agrees each show has had a very distinctive energy, though dancing and good times are connective factors. The Beach B’ys are also somewhat surprised by the age demographics enjoying their shows, considering most of the crowd shaking it weren’t even considered during The Beach Boys heyday.
The group agrees each show has had a very distinctive energy, though dancing and good times are connective factors.
The self-confessed music nerds appreciate the music for its craftsmanship and are pleased to discover that a variety of people really like what they’re doing.
“When you think about it, these were hit singles in the early ’60s, so your grandparents were out dancing to this stuff … That’s what’s kind of wild, that it’s still a party and these songs are 50 years old,” says Young.
This was partially the inspiration for their show at Memorial University’s Reid Theatre tonight. The all-ages show is very family friendly, with an early start time of 8 p.m. The band chose to perform outside of the traditional downtown bar scene so that individuals interested in seeing them, but wary of late nights and loud bars, would have the opportunity to check them out.
When questioned on the name Young responds, “What else could you possibly call us?”
A sample of the B’ys, shown here performing Sloop John B at Headquarters in St. John’s, Dec. 10, 2011: