UNO Magazine, Summer 2007/08

 

Intro page ~ Page 1~ Page 2 ~ Page 3 ~ Page 4

   Page One

   Behind the Beatgirls

THEY KNOW THAT AN ATMOSPHERE IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE HARNESSED, THE ENERGY OF AN ERA SO TIMELESS THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE LEFT IN THE PAST.

ROLLER SKATERS WHIZ Cenzy of fluorescent lycra, while casinos in the distance are juxtaposed sharply against a stark blue sky. A woman gasps, gripping the arm of a singlet-clad friend as she points out an automobile shimmering through the heat waves. Surging forward, the crowd closes around the sleek limousine as it cruises to a stop. After what seems an age, a tinted window is lowered, and collective arms flail towards a barely discernable figure inside. Out step four young, well-dressed men. If the surroundings were different, one might not guess these four men are at the centre of a phenomenon that is sweeping the world. The Beatles wave at the screaming legions of fans that have come to greet them on this summer afternoon, riding the crest of a wave of fame that is to last long into the years to come.

Andrea Sanders and Billy Watkins know a little bit about fame. They know that an atmosphere is something that can be harnessed, the energy of an era so timeless that it should not be left in the past. They know this, and it's the reason they chose to capture the essence of Beatle mania with the creation of their band, The Beatgirls. Arguably the most successful covers band in New Zealand, ever, the three-person live stage act is the brainchild of this dynamic couple. And dynamic really is the word. Polished and poised, an afternoon with them leaves you feeling like you have just watched a highly rehearsed performance akin to the live acts they are so famous for. Their words spin together in a whirl of conversation, sentences interchangeable as they bounce from one topic to the next with an energy that is contagious. "We haven't had a party for two and a half years now, you know that?" smiles Billy. "And for us, that's saying something."

As they paint a picture of their hectic lives, a roundabout of organising gigs here and overseas, managing staff, and with a young daughter to care for, one wonders when they get a chance to sleep let alone boogie the night away.