Phenomenal rock and pop hits from the mid-1960s will live on at the 81st annual Dover Days Festival on the Green through The British Invasion Experience's free concert on Friday.
Phenomenal rock and pop hits from the mid-1960s will live on at the 81st annual Dover Days Festival on the Green through The British Invasion Experience’s free concert on Friday.
The audience will hear approximately 40 songs with music covering a handful of classic bands from across the pond including The Beatles, Cream, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Zombies, The Kinks and the Dan Clark Five. The guys in The British Invasion Experience also don ’60s-era clothing to further recreate that magical time period in music.
The British Invasion Experience’s frontman and guitarist Jon Pheasant, of Ocean City, Md., spoke with the Dover Post about what his band has in store for Dover Days, why his outfit is different from other British Invasion tribute acts, and more.
Q What are some of the staple songs you perform at just about every show?
A What we try to do is pick some of the big hits. People want to hear The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” “All My Loving” and “She Loves You.” They want to hear “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. Floyd fans want to hear “Another Brick in the Wall.” Those are kind of givens that we typically do each and every show. Then we try to throw in a few of our favorites as a group, and we also try to cycle in any new things that we’re working on.
Q What do you think makes the British Invasion Experience different from what other tribute bands have to offer?
A We do more than just the poppy stuff; we also do some of the harder stuff, which attracts a lot more of the younger crowds. Obviously they like some of that harder-edge like Cream, Led Zeppelin or that kind of thing. Our show really attracts that crowd, versus The British Invasion Tribute [band in New Jersey], which doesn’t really focus on that harder stuff. But we’re not heavy metal or anything like that. We also do some of the commercial material, but it’s not solely about that.
Q What’s one of the newest songs that you might play at Dover Days?
A We just added The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” to our show. The Zombies’ song “Tell Her No” is also going to be a brand new one. James Mathias, our lead guitar player, he’s actually going to be singing on that one. That’ll be really cool because you’ll get to hear his voice. We also just added The Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter.” That’s definitely going to be in the set for Dover Days. That’s a good toward-the-end-of-the-show type of song.
Q Of the bands you cover, which one do you find most of your audiences are least familiar with, yet instantly fall in love with the music?
A I’d say Cream, definitely. We break into “Sunshine of Your Love” and people just go nuts. I want to say another one would probably be The Who. Audiences are familiar with their music, but we actually do an earlier Who song. We play “Can’t Explain,” which is an early kind of heavier, yet poppy Who tune. I think when people think of The Who, they think we’re going to do popular songs such as “Who Are You” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Instead, we come in with “Can’t Explain” and it’s kind of a shocker.
Q Since you cover at least half a dozen bands, how have you selected which outfits you’ll wear in your shows?
A We don’t do six different outfits or anything like that. Particularity what we do is when we start off the show, we start in The Beatles’ suits and ties – the outfits they wore on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” Then throughout the first set, different members of the group go backstage, get changed and we come out and we’re dressed kind of like the later Beatles, like the “Abbey Road” era. Then we come out and dress more like in a casual ’60s attire. Some of us do the black pants and an unbuttoned white shirt. Some of us might have a psychedelic jacket that we’d wear back in that time period. In total, we do probably about three wardrobe changes within the course of a night.
Q Where did the idea of forming the British Invasion Experience come from?
A There’s a touring tribute show named Legends In Concert and they do a lot of the American stuff like Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson, and Elvis is the biggest hit. He’s kind of like the headliner. Our idea was really to kind of take the idea of that, the fact that they’re combining all of these groups that were really, really big American musical acts into one show. That’s how we got our concept. There’s really nobody out there that’s doing that with the British Invasion. We really like how Legends is centered around Elvis. Our show is centered around The Beatles, but it’s still paying tribute to all those other groups that really made their mark in music.
IF YOU GO
WHAT The British Invasion Experience in concert
WHEN 6 to 9 p.m., Friday
WHERE The Green, Dover
INFO Visit doverdaysfestival.com or call 734-1736