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'Sargento Pimenta', better known as 'The Samba Beatles', speak to The Beatles Story

20th July, 2013

This weekend ‘Brazilica Festival’ hits the streets of Liverpool and for a few days Merseyside feels more like South America. The headlining act of this years' festival, ‘Sargento Pimenta’, couldn’t fit the occasion more. Sargento Pimenta are a Brazilian carnival band with a twist, they only perform The Beatles’ music!

During their time in Liverpool we met up with the band to ask them a few questions about Sargento Pimenta, Liverpool, The Beatles and Brazil.

Interview with 'Sargento Pimenta':

Can you tell us about ‘Sargento Pimenta’?

“We’re a carnival street group from Brazil and the idea is to mix to the Brazilian influence, a different culture with The Beatles’ songs. We carefully choose the songs and we’re carful with what we mix it with, that’s the main aim, to bring The Beatles to the carnival and the carnival to The Beatles.”

What brings you to Liverpool?

“A project called Great British Carnival, created by the legacy of the Olympics where SP performed. This (Brazilica) is our first date on the great British carnival tour."

Have you visited Liverpool in the past?

“Yes we have been to Liverpool before but only for one day.”

Did you visit The Beatles Story?

"No we didn't have time unfortunately but we'll defiantly be visiting during our time here."

What do you know about The Beatles Story?

"We know that The Beatles Story is an amazing exhibition that guides you through the story of The Beatles and you learn a lot learn a lot. You’ve got a rich collection of information and items that would be amazing to see!"

What's your favourite song to perform as a band?

“I Am The Walrus, we agree on that. Each of us has a different song we love to play but we all love performing’ I Am The Walrus’ even though it’s not one of their biggest hits. It’s got so much energy and it matches with our deep percussion style, it’s got such an amazing feel and vibe, and every time we play it we all get the same feeling, even in rehearsal!”

What made you start 'Sargento Pimenta'?

"We were at a carnival in Brazil during 2010 and a lot of the groups that were being formed had themes and our group of friends thought “hey, let’s have a group of our own", we all loved The Beatles and nobody else had done that before so we said “let’s do it” and that’s it, the passion of carnival and our passion for The Beatles drove us!"

We've recently seen a huge increase in people from Brazil coming to our exhibition and coming to Liverpool, why do you think that is?

"There are two main carnivals in Rio and one of the festivals focuses on traditional Brazilian music and the other focuses on bands like us and the carnival that strays away from the traditional carnival music has grown and grown over the last ten years and Sargento Pimenta have been a huge part of that. At the last carnival in Rio, we attracted over half a million people, so it really is people like Sargento Pimenta that are the reason that people in Brazil have suddenly become so interested in Liverpool."

If you want to see Sargento Pimenta in Liverpool City Centre they're playing on Saturday, 20 July at 15:00 and 20:00.

For more information on Sargento Pimenta visit their website, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.