THE TIMES OF CHESTER COUNTY
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On Syage: BBMak is back
May 9th, 2019
By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times
Back in 2000, BBMak was one of the hottest pop bands in the United Kingdom. The group’s popularity quickly spread around the world.
What set BBMak apart from the other “boy band” groups of the era was that the versatile threesome won over young audiences with its music — not with flashy choreography and unlimited hype.
It didn’t hurt that Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Stephen McNally were all handsome enough to be teen mag cover boys – which they were.
Still, BBMak’s main selling point was its musicianship and the soaring harmonies created by three lads, each of whom could be a lead singer.
The multi-platinum selling group sold more than three million albums and had hit singles worldwide between 1999 and 2003. Best known for self-penned, guitar-driven hits “Back Here,” “Out of My Heart” and “The Ghost of You and Me,” BBMak was one of the few bands from that genre with singers who played their own instruments.
BBMak got its start in Liverpool — the home of another top-selling band with great harmonies.
“We were all in different bands in Liverpool,” said Burns. “We were mostly playing pop and rock with some soul music thrown in. We were doing different club gigs and we met when our bands shared bills. After we met, playing together as a band was just something that evolved.”
After a four-year career that saw the trio from Merseyside release a pair of albums – “Sooner Or Later” in 2000 and “Into Your Head” in 2002 – BBMak called it quits.
Last year, after a 16-year gap, BBMak rose like a Phoenix. The trio has been recording and touring ever since. The band’s current tour brings it to the area for a show on May 9 at The Queen (500 North Market Street, Wilmington, 202-730-3331, www.thequeenwilmington.com).
During the decade-and-a-half hiatus, Burns and McNally remained in the music industry, while Barry went into personal training.
“We’ve remained friends and stayed in touch all these years,” said Burns, during a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.
“Last year, we got together and jammed. We hadn’t picked guitars and played together in 15 years. We then realized that we really enjoyed it – and that we missed it.
“We got our guitars out and played for a while. For fun, we posted it on Facebook – and it went crazy. It got two million views in a couple days.”
One thing led to another and soon the band had a few gigs lined up.
“We did four shows last year – the Cabin Club in Liverpool, the Gramercy in New York, the House of Blues in Chicago and a show here in L.A.,” said Burns.
“Before we started, we wondered if anyone was going to show up. The shows all sold really well. Everyone was singing along to the singles – and to the album cuts.
“When you’re playing live with only three vocalists and three guitars, there’s nowhere to hide. It’s great to see that people genuinely love the music. We got messages on social media from fans who said that our music meant a lot in their lives.”
The three friends started writing together again for the first time in 15 years and immediately found their groove.
“We really missed us,” said Burns. “We’ve got so much music in us. We’re doing it ourselves – and we’re doing it our way. We just finished making a new album and it will be out in a few months.
“In our live shows now, we’re doing mostly the old stuff – the songs the fans really want to hear. And, we’re also dropping in some songs from the new album.”
Video link for BBMak – https://youtu.be/CbGegNlgJdE.
The show at The Queen will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50.