Column by Alycia Douglass | Photos by Jason Setnyk
Having long been Cornwall’s cornerstone of great live music, La Maison welcomed the groovy stylings of Ottawa’s own Capital Beatles this weekend. Dressed to kill and ready to induce some serious Beatlemania, the band emerged for their highly anticipated Cornwall debut. Arriving with Rickenbackers and Höfners in tow, the guys hit the stage around 9:45.
Kicking off their first set with She Loves You, the boys set the tempo for the evening, maintaining the same incredible energy throughout the show. The crowd found their feet on the dancefloor when the band played the Fab Four’s celebrated rendition of Please Mr. Postman. Cornwall native, Gary Bray says that even in the band’s infancy, creating an upbeat set list had been imperative to him. ‘We selected songs that would get the people in the mood to get down and dance,’ says Bray. And that, they did.
Halfway through the first set, the band put Ringo (David Cronkite) to work playing The Beatles’ twangy-but-tasty, Act Naturally. The band’s chemistry seemingly tangible, you would never guess that Ed Lauzon had only recently begun holding down the bottom end with the Capital Beatles. Nailing McCartney’s famously bouncy bass dynamics in tunes such as All My Loving and Eight Days a Week, Lauzon proves himself a shoo-in for the capital-region Mop Tops.
So what exactly does it take to master the Beatles’ iconic sound? Jean-Phillippe Bourassa, who plays guitar and keys in the group, breaks down the formula. ‘Loving the Beatles is an easy thing to do,’ he affirms, ‘but playing their music is a great challenge. You have to study all the subtle things they did in order to deliver what they offered the world in the 60s.’ Not only can this guy sing and hold his own on guitar, but his charisma can be seen from outer space.
After a short intermission, the boys came back for a second set, resuming with the ever-romantic I Want to Hold Your Hand. Oh, and more dancing. Showing off his chops behind the kit, David Cronkite left many questioning whether Ringo had always been their favourite Beatle with tracks such as I Feel Fine and the ultra-groovy Day Tripper.
Appropriately choosing to wrap up with Let It Be, which is notably the only ballad on the set list, the crowd was finally able to retire their dancing shoes for the evening. As the lads packed up their gear, soon to make the trek back to Ottawa, I was reminded of the countless hours of preparation leading up to this one evening. All this so we could join them on a voyage through musical space and time. And hey – for only ten earth dollars, I’d say it was a steal of a deal.
Want to see more? Catch the fellas at The John St. Pub in Arnprior Ontario on May 21st. You can also check their website or Facebook page for more show dates.