The Yule Ball, the annual Harry Potter tribute band holiday show, will return for its 11th year to the Middle East Downstairs on Sunday, Dec. 20. Norwood natives and hosts Joe and Paul DeGeorge will don their dress robes (which they say equate tuxedos) before their band, Harry and the Potters, and four more magically-inclined acts take the stage. Butterbeer and fire whiskey will be on tap, but the wizard rock show is open to all ages.
Paul DeGeorge, 36, has since moved to Lawrence, Kansas, but made the trek back for a whirlwind of rehearsals with his three-piece band before Sunday's show. He chats the "Fantastic Beasts," Hogwarts house splitting and that time J.K. Rowling sent him an e-mail.
About those Harry Potter spin-off's
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" has a dynamite cast (Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston) and its first trailer, and "The Cursed Child" is set to open in July in London's West End. But will the J.K. Rowling-penned spin-off's get tribute bands of their own? "Iabsolutely think that once 'Fantastic Beasts' and the play debut there will be new bands and projects that come out of that," says DeGeorge.
And will the Potters jump the shark? "We stay pretty strong on our concept. We're in character as Harry and only write as Harry," he says. "Some other bands write from a looser perspective, like just a wizard world in general. We're writing very specifically about [Harry's] seven years in Hogwarts, and maybe some passing references to his time with the Dursleys."
While they may don Gryffindor house colors on-stage, DeGeorge refuses to pledge a singular house. "Joe says [I'd be]Gryffindorand Ravenclaw," he says. "That's the new fashion. You can have split houses, like Raven-Puff. My wife got a Raven-Puff crest that melds the two houses. Split houses are very vogue."
Receiving official Owl Post
J.K. Rowling may or may not have listened to Harry and the Potters since they made their 2002 debut (and three subsequent studio albums), but DeGeorge couldn't confirm. "If I were in her position, curiosity would have gotten the best of me by now," he says. "But it's very possible that she has a lot of other things to do other than listen to us."
DeGeorge did however receive a note from the author via "official" Owl Post after dropping a gift at her Scotland office. Unfortunately—while DeGeorge says its message was very nice—"it was just a regular old email, but it was from J.K. Rowling." We suppose that makes up for it.