Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Steven Page, Craig Northey among Acts in 'Sgt. Pepper' Anniversary Concerts: Steven Page among Acts in 'Sgt. Pepper' Show

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Steven Page, Craig Northey among Acts in 'Sgt. Pepper' Anniversary Concerts: Steven Page among Acts in 'Sgt. Pepper' Show

Article excerpt

TORONTO - As a kid in the '70s, former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page remembers strapping on giant Radio Shack headphones, lying on a white shag carpet and incessantly listening to his parents' mono copy of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Sometimes the headphone jack would dislodge a bit and he'd hear just the reverb or bass guitar, allowing him to identify individual instrumental parts on the tunes that formed what's widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time.

"That changed the way I looked at music forever, the way I could be able to look at symphonic music or vocal harmonies or whatever else ever since," the Toronto-bred Page, who's working on a fourth solo album, said in a recent phone interview.

"Listening to Beatles records ... made me want to make records."

These days, Page considers himself "a total Beatles nerd" who's been known to get caught up in such debates as whether Paul McCartney is playing an Epiphone Casino or a Fender Esquire guitar through a Selmer Zodiac on certain tunes.

He'll get to celebrate that side of himself as he and other artists perform re-invented versions of "Sgt. Pepper's" colourful songs -- from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" to "With a Little Help From My Friends" and "A Day in the Life" -- in three Art of Time Ensemble concerts at Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre in Toronto.

The first concert is on Thursday, the 45th anniversary of the album's June 1, 1967 release. Performances are also slated for Friday and Saturday.

Backed by a 12-piece band under the artistic direction of Art of Time founder Andrew Burashko, Page will sing all tunes from the Beatles' eighth album alongside Andy Maize (Skydiggers), John Mann (Spirit of the West) and Craig Northey (Odds).

Page will sing most of McCartney's parts.

"McCartney can really scream up high and when you're working with Andrew, one thing is he rehearses like crazy," said Page. "We go in and rehearse from 10 to seven every day and then go and do sound checks and shows, so by the end of the week your voice, if you're not really taking care of it, it can be tough on it. …

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