The Boardwalkers’ tribute concert to The Beatles featured the best of the iconic band
The Beatles have this timeless quality to their song-writing and melodies that make them easily accessible to people of all ages, even 50 years after they first came together. From rock lovers to jazz enthusiasts, the Buzz — a tribute to The Beatles concert by Boardwalkers, saw a packed audience at the Museum Theatre.
Put together by Michael Muthu, the evening started off with an earnest rendition by the man himself of ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’. This was followed by the first set of the night by yesteryear band Bluebirds, a stick-to-the-original take on The Beatles, and the lead singer Rajasekaran enthralled the audience with his Mick Jagger-like moves and powerful vocals, as he belted out numbers such as ‘Back In The USSR’, ‘Eight Days A Week’ and ‘Oh! Darling’. This 60-something singer has been performing for over three decades and his energy on stage was commendable. While the wisecracks about his age and memory could have been skipped, he managed to keep the audience engaged. Jude Reeves on lead guitar and Rajan on bass hit all the right notes bringing the stage alive with the magic of The Beatles. Maynard Grant on the drums alternated between upbeat numbers like ‘Honey Don’t’ and John Lennon’s lyrical genius ‘Imagine’, with ease. Dayan Selwyn on the keys made the evocative melody of ‘Something’ possible while Raghunathan supported him with his haunting guitar solo. If you came to the show in the hope of singing-along then this band did you justice.
Next up, Sangita Santhosam on vocals and Roshan Thomas on vocals and guitar, took the stage with a light acoustic set and opened with the classic number, ‘Blackbird’. With a choir-like quality, the duo’s voices came together in a lesser-known Beatles song, ‘Hallelujah, I Love Her So’. Songs like ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and ‘All My Loving’ followed and they got the groove going with ‘I Feel Fine’, starting out in a sharp chorus and moving onto a thumping version of the song ending with ‘Twist and Shout’. With clever chords and striking guitars, this set conjured up strong harmonies, a facet that made The Beatles very popular, combining intelligent arrangements with the raw appeal of an acoustic guitar that was well manipulated. The last set for the night was the band Jus for Kicks featuring several singers. They kick-started with a powerhouse performance of ‘Drive My Car’ in Roshan’s wispy voice, introducing the rock and roll side of The Beatles. Following this were high-energy tracks like ‘Hard Days Night’ and ‘Help’ by Sujan Daniels, which Kavita Thomas complemented with beautiful harmonies. The guitar solos by Jude Mario brought back memories of live performances by The Beatles in the 1960s. Popular in the theatre and musical circuit, Sangeetha’s melodic renditions of both ‘Michelle’ and ‘Yesterday’ left the audience asking for more. Kavita’s potent rendition of ‘Norwegian Woods’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ celebrated the singer’s soulful voice. Santosh Cherian’s version of ‘Let It Be’ was complemented by Gerard Joseph on the bass and Immanuel Theophles on the drums. A powerful guitar solo by Tim Elliot was the perfect interlude to this popular song. Richard Nathan’s take on ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ had the crowd singing along while Anish Chacko on the keyboard enhanced the song.
The night ended with ‘Hey Jude’ and the band got the entire audience on their feet, singing along, reliving the best of The Beatles. While some hard-core Beatles fans may have been disappointed with the bands moving away from the original sound, the great thing about The Beatles’ music is that it lends itself to different genres and generations.