FridaysUpdate- The British are coming! The English Channel takes the stage for Fridays
No need to take up arms and bar your doors: the British are coming to Charlottesville, but in the form of Richmond-based cover band The English Channel. Embracing influential British hits of the 60s and 70s, the five-piece band has only one desire– to keep the music that shaped their lives alive.
"It was a very influential time in pop culture, in politics, in the world," says vocalist Julie Quarles, who recalls watching The Beatles on the February 9, 1964 episode of the Ed Sullivan Show when she was in second grade. "The Beatles changed everything– they changed music, they touched our lives."
Don't expect cheesy Austin Powers-styled accents or an all-Beatles playlist, as the English Channel prides itself on authentically recreating the sound of over forty British bands who were imported primarily in the late '60s and early '70s– with no American bands and nothing past 1979 in their arsenal. After "baby-boomers" Julie and her husband, keyboardist Bob Quarles– both former musicians– rekindled a desire to perform in 2001, they turned to the music that initially sparked their musical interest. The resulting band brought together five equally infatuated musicians who have dedicated the past eight years to mastering the sound of their idols– The Zombies, The Kinks, The Animals, Cream, The Rolling Stones, among others.
"It is daunting– there are some things we choose to play that are ridiculous to try and pull off," says Quarles. "We work very hard at it, to make it sound just as people remember it."
Claiming to be the only all-Brit-hit cover band in the area, The English Channel focuses on the importance of the British Invasion to contemporary American music and culture. While other "oldies" bands throw in American hits of the '70s or '80s, The English Channel only wants to harken back to the days where music was freeing, challenging, and exciting, according to Quarles.
"The first Beatles songs that came out were nothing like anything anyone had heard," says Quarles. "As they progressed more and more into Indian culture and drugs, their sound progressed into something much more complicated and interesting– so did everyone else's."
Quarles refers to infamous Beatles producer, Sir George Martin, who said that each generation finds the Beatles on their own. While this may be true, this band intends on spreading the British hits that changed their lives to both new and old fans of the era. So put aside your red coat, pull on your paisley, and head to the Pavilion Friday for a little piece of the UK.
The English Channel plays Fridays After Five on 6/19. Two Kings opens. The show starts at 5:30 pm and admission is free.