I saw the Beatles . . .


I went to see The (cavern) Beatles on Wednesday 7th July 2004 at the Stables in Milton Keynes, and they were stunning.

(See full review below.)

They were advertised as '64 - on tour', came on stage with their Beatles suits, and for the first 45 minutes played songs entirely from 1963 and 1964. Paul and John were dead ringers and were virtually perfect. They launched into a great version of 'All My Loving', followed by - I Saw Her Standing There, Please Please Me, Twist And Shout, She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, This Boy, Any Time At All, You Can't Do That, I Feel Fine, Eight Day's A Week, and included songs from their 'new film' - A Hard Days Night. John, Paul, George and Ringo all had their turns at lead vocals, and the background harmonies were spot-on.

Then they had a fifteen minute interval, and came back out in their black polo neck sweaters, playing songs from 1965 and 1966, including Help!, Eight Day's A Week, Ticket To Ride, Paperback Writer, and Day Tripper (that guitar riff from George was very prominent and superbly done). Near the end of this section someone shouted out for 'Yellow Submarine'. Paul said that it was not writ yet, but they would they make a note because it was a great title for a future song. The same thing happened when someone requested Hey Jude.

They then went off for a few moments (perhaps two minutes), when someone came back on stage alone wearing hippy gear (being alone I thought he might be a roadie at first). But he picked up a guitar and started playing an absolutely note-perfect incredible solo version of ‘Here Comes the Sun’ – it was George. The guitar and the voice were just perfect. He went off and John then came on alone (dressed from the Let It Be film) and launched straight into a solo version of ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’. Again, it was amazing. (I was then expecting Paul to come out and play a solo version of ‘Yesterday’, but according to their website it doesn’t seem to be in their repertoire.) The others came back on and they went into the ‘rooftop’ concert, starting with Dig A Pony, and included I've Got A Feeling, Don't Let Me Down, and a great rocking version of Get Back, and followed it with The Ballad of John & Yoko, Revolution, Back In The USSR, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The encore (‘we weren’t expecting this’) was a rock’n roll session including Kansas City, Roll Over Beethoven, and Long Tall Sally.

They also included their typical Beatles/scouser humour between songs, and plenty of ad-libbing of the vocals and lyrics (talking to one-another and laughing) to prove they were not miming the songs.

Not everything was perfect of course (how could it be). George and Ringo never looked like the real thing (though they tried their best). George never got the hair right, he was too tall, and Ringo was just a stone or so overweight, but they both sounded great and George’s guitar work was brilliant. John's voice was a little weak at first, lacking that fantastic power and edge, but once he warmed up after 4-5 songs he was amazing (including his solo version of ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’). Paul was sometimes a little too good, exaggerating mannerisms (in the face and in the voice) that I am sure Paul did not develop until the 1980s - I am sure that Paul was more restrained whilst in the Beatles. And also disappointing was the songs they didn’t play, like Hey Jude and Let It Be, Yellow Submarine, Imagine, My Sweet Lord, Mary Had A Little Lamb. But everyone loved it, although some of the audience were a little slow at first to warm up. Towards the end some even got up and danced.

I can thoroughly recommend them.

P.S. I may have got the years and the playing order mixed up, but it will be approximately close-enough.

The songs they didn't play . . .

A fab encore would have been: All You Need Is Love followed by Hey Jude.

Perhaps with Yellow Submarine in there somewhere.

. . . and Paul played right-handed.

I saw a similar show in NJ. The show was called "The Classical Mystery Tour", and I believe the band is named "The Fab Four". The music was backed by the NJ Symphony, who also did medleys between sets. I could barely believe how good the show was, and they performed hits from all the eras, and some Lennon and McCartney solo stuff. Once again, "Paul" was right-handed. All four band members were really in character I think they all nailed their parts.

I have tickets &nbsp for &nbsp The Bootleg Beatles &nbsp at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 11th December 2005 (a different group from
The (cavern) Beatles).