Nobody can accuse Beats Antique of being a copycat band.

After all, it’s hard to find another group that not only performs original electronic music, it sports a belly dancer as a full-fledged member and contributing artist.

“It’s a very different kind of band experience, because we’re not a band in the traditional sense at all,” said Tommy Cappel, 38, Beats Antique’s drummer. “Whatever it is, it is. It’s not preconceived at all, and that keeps us on our toes and excited.”

It’ll likely keep the audience on its toes as well, as the typical music fan probably doesn’t have a lot of experience watching electronica/belly dance shows. The group will give its first Maine show tonight at Port City Music Hall in Portland. DJ Laura opens.

Formed in San Francisco in 2007, Beats Antique began with belly dancer Zoe Jakes. She was performing with a group called Bellydance Superstars, the creation of producer Miles Copeland, brother of Police drummer Stewart Copeland.

Jakes approached Copeland about doing an album of music to dance to, which she would also help make. The group came together quickly, with Jakes’ boyfriend David Satori playing instruments and working the electronics, and longtime friend Cappel on percussion and other things.

“It’s all three of us making the music,” said Satori, 32, who is originally from Burlington, Vt., and attended Camp Waziyatah in Waterford as a youngster. “We have elements of a jam band, but we’re not as improvised as you might think.”

Beats Antique has been playing festivals and bigger theaters (600 or more seats) on its latest tour, Satori said, and are specifically trying to play places they’ve never been before.

So what can one expect at a Beats Antique show?

“I trigger the sequences, the tracks, and play violin and viola and some percussion,” said Satori. “We have a baritone sax with us too, and an additional dancer.”

Cappel plays drums, electronic drums and electric piano. Besides dancing, Jakes will often play a marching band snare drum, and helps compose the music. There are usually no vocals, Cappel says.

“The best part of all this so far has been seeing the crowds react,” said Satori.

“We’ve all been in tons of other bands, and there’s really nothing I can compare (Beats Antique) to,” said Cappel.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: RayRouthier


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