Travel in time at Balfour

Concert at Kootenay Lakeview Lodge features ‘world’s best Beatles show’ and a natural setting organizers hope will be the next great outdoor venue

Revolver will be the closest thing you will get to The Beatles live to the outdoor stage at Balfour later this month.

Revolver will be the closest thing you will get to The Beatles live to the outdoor stage at Balfour later this month.

Few can boast of seeing The Beatles live. So this might be as close you get.

Billed as “the world’s best Beatles tribute band,” Revolver is coming to the outdoor stage at Balfour’s Kootenay Lakeview Lodge.

“It’s the overall sound that comes off the stage… you go ‘wow, that sounds so much like The Beatles it’s scary,’” says Revolver bassist Michael Sicoly. “You will think you’re in the company of The Beatles themselves. It’s a damn bold statement, but I’m that confident.”

The 55-year-old Sicoly has been playing Beatles music since he was a kid. Like so many others of his generation, it’s the music that defined the 1960s.

“The Beatles changed music. I know when I first heard them I said ‘that’s what I want to do,’” says Sicoly. “They influenced us as we grew up, they were our mentors. It’s probably the best pop music ever written… look at the way it’s stood the test of time.”

Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Sicoly moved to Vancouver in the mid-1970s where he was involved in the music scene. In 1986 Sicoly was approached by former Prism drummer Rocket Norton to put together a Beatles tribute band for Expo. Sicoly recruited boyhood friend Mick Dalla-Vee who also shared a passion for the Fab Four. The three added Lower Mainland guitarist Skip Prest and Revolver was born.

Revolver was an instant fan favourite at Expo as the lads perfected their tribute to the well-known classics.

After Expo, all four Revolver members carried on with their regular jobs as session musicians and entertainers. Revolver continued for a few years, playing the odd special show. Then for several years the long and winding road for Revolver looked be over.

Two years ago Sicoly was approached about an idea for a special show to mark The Beatles 45th anniversary of playing Empire Stadium in Vancouver.

“I really wasn’t into it, I had this hang-up that we’re too old to be doing this,” says Sicoly. “But I talked to the guys and they said ‘you’re never too old to play Beatles songs.’ So we dusted off the outfits from the closet and they all fit, which was good.”

The Empire show attracted 15,000 at the PNE, proving to the members of Revolver that The Beatles music is as popular as ever. With that boost of confidence they started to play a little more frequently and found the crowds were very enthusiastic.

“It’s brilliantly written and it’s catchy as hell,” Sicoly says of the attraction to music that is almost half a century old. “It’s just really fun to sing those tunes and fun makes people excel at anything they do.”

Last summer Sicoly was in the Kootenays visiting old pal Reg Clarkson at Kootenay Lakeview Lodge. Sharing a love for golf and music, the two became friends in Vancouver “back in the old days.”

“We were two members of a mutual admiration society,” laughs Clarkson. “I admired him because he was such a talented musician and he admired me because I could hit a golf ball 300 yards.”

Clarkson bounced the idea of an outdoor concert off Sicoly. A few years back Lakeview Lodge hosted EdFest — a fundraiser for Ed Natyshak who was seriously injured in a mountain bike accident — that attracted 900 people to the grounds. Clarkson saw the venue as a place where outdoor events could regularly be held and Sicoly agreed.

“I figured bringing Revolver here was perfect for this area and for this kind of launch,” says Clarkson.

On August 20 the plan born on the golf course will play out when Revolver hits the stage.

“It’s a spectacular setting,” Clarkson says of the venue. “I mean where is a more spectacular spot… really.”

The four lads from Revolver can’t wait.

“It’s fresh because we don’t do it a lot,” Sicoly says of playing the Beatles tunes. “This show in Balfour, we’re just dying to do it because we haven’t played in a couple months. We don’t run the thing ragged and that’s what’s good about it.”

There are a number of packages available for the concert, some that include dinner and accommodation. Tickets are available at Eddy’s Music, Stuart’s News and several Balfour locations. For more information head to kootenaylakeviewlodge.com.