The show was held in a leisure centre, which
meant a smaller audience and unstable seating. Myself and Andreas found our third row seats and cracked open the jelly babies.
The audience slowly filed in and found their seats to the sounds of the sixties - Helen Shapiro, Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw,
and the boy wonder that is Cliff Richard. After about fifteen minutes the lights were lowered and over the speakers came the
sounds of The Beatles talking about how long they thought they'd be "in the business". Then the famous introductions were
made - "I'm Ringo and I play the drums" etc, followed by fanatical screaming. The curtain was raised and The Cavern Beatles,
in traditional Beatle suits, launched into Twist and Shout. The show continued at a steady pace, paying close attention to
detail. A lot of the Beatles' early LP's were covered, in particular Please Please Me, With The Beatles and Beatles For Sale.
Eddie McClaine (John) is amazing, both physically
and vocally. He has managed to adopt many of the mannerisms and facial expressions Beatles fans have come to love about Lennon.
By about the
fourth song, people were getting the dancing bug, and the area in front of the stage was occupied by some of the more energetic
members of the audience. However, the staff informed them that they had to stay seated! Obviously not fans of The Beatles
- it is physically impossible to stay seated when Long Tall Sally
is being performed live in front of you! And so The Dancing Four were escorted back to their seats.
I got to take
about 3 pictures during the first half, but this was obviously Mistake #2, as I was 'politely' informed that photography was
prohibited. So, no dancing, no photo's...anything else??
The close of the first half drew ever nearer,
and Derek (Paul) performed an exceptional rendition of Long Tall Sally. The similarity between him and Paul McCartney is unbelievable.
By the end of the song it was manic - Roy Hitchen's new take on Ringo's drumming was a lot louder and faster than the original,
and this was one of the best performances of the set.
A few B-sides were covered, the best one
of these being This Boy. The three-part harmony was faultless. Often such vocally complex songs as this (Nowhere Man, Because, Yes
It Is etc) don't translate onto the stage very well, but this was amazing. "John's" guitar was unintentionally a bit
louder than the others, yet it gave the song a little extra something.
The song finished, and everyone but 'John' left
the stage. He told us that whilst they'd been in America, he'd met a songwriter name Bob Dylan who inspired him to write the
next song - You've Got To Hide Your Love Away. He did a 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 count in then did a beautiful rendition
of one of my favourite Lennon compositions. Instead of the flute ending, he whistled, and it set me off crying! He got such
a big cheer at the end. He then left the stage to "age about four years" and the interval was upon us.
Part two started with a sound clip of John talking
about Ted Heath not understanding their accents. The curtain raised and The Cavern Beatles were sporting the black roll-neck
sweaters reminiscent of the With The Beatles cover. Many tracks from A Hard Days Night,
Rubber Soul, and Help!
were performed (one of which was an amazing rendition of I Need You), as well as a selection of singles. By the time the intro
to Day Tripper blasted out, many of us were up and dancing in the aisles
and in front of the stage, and this time we were allowed! Beatle fans shall always succeed!!
Then, a slower number was performed (I forget
which one) that we couldn't really dance to, so we went back to our seats. Everyone but 'George' left the stage, and we had
a mini Concert For Bangladesh, when he performed a solo acoustic Here Comes The Sun. It was the best performance of the whole
evening. His guitar playing and George mimicry was faultless. The best thing about the performance was hearing every foot
in the room tapping on the hollow floor. Rick got a huge applause at the end, and deservedly so.
Next came the rooftop era, and this
was definitely the best part of the show. A lot of Let It Be was performed,
which re-created the live natural sound of the original. One After 909 was
amazing. Eddie forgot most of the words to Dig A Pony (Does anyone actually
know the correct lyrics anyway??) but it was very good nonetheless.
The end of the show was absolutely mind blowing,
with two of my favourite songs, Get Back and Revolution, being performed. I am in love with the sound of the guitar on the
intro of Revolution, and to hear it live was fantastic. Get Back ended half way through, and Eddie said, "On behalf of the
band and myself, I'd like to say thank you and I hope we passed the audition". Everyone was cheering as they left the stage,
and eventually they came back and did an encore with Back In The USSR, Sgt Peppers (reprise) and The End. At the end of...The End, all the boys played their guitars near to the amps,
and this created the most amazing sound. It was so loud and it reverberated through the room.
Afterwards, we hung about and waited for autographs.
Eventually Rick came out and invited us in! We stood and talked about the gig, George Harrison, the set, and Beatle Week.
He then took us onto the stage and I held the guitars! I've now fulfilled my dream of holding a Rickenbacker 325 (John's one).
It was beautiful!
All in all, a superb night out.