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Apple Scruffs
2/05/04
Paul McCartney John Lennon George Harrison Ringo Starr The Beatles Tribute Bands Other

Never believe anything you are told by someone in a tribute band regarding sound-checks. They are the single most interesting thing you will ever have the fortune to experience.

Well, maybe not!!!

But I had a good time; to hear bits of Beatles tunes played exactly like the originals is always welcome.

My friend and I were invited to The Cavern Beatles sound check before the gig, to experience the hectic life a tribute band is forced to lead. This over, we went to the green room before the show started, and thus followed Spinal Tap Moment #1, involving misunderstood directions and shoes getting caught in clothing (dont ask).

7:45 came, and we found our seats, accompanied by the sounds of the '60s; Helen Shapiro, Cilla Black, and the lovely young Cliff Richard. Eventually 8:00 rolled round and the lights dimmed. Then followed a sound clip from The Beatles Anthology, with each Beatle talking about how they thought 1964 was going to be for them. Then came the sound of loud, hysterical screaming and The Cavern Beatles appeared, in Beatle-style black suits and ties, and launched into All My Loving. The Caverns then ran through some of the earlier tracks; She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There (fantastic as ever!), and I Want To Hold Your Hand. Next up was This Boy, which got huge applause from the audience. All three vocal parts were spot-on, and Johns solo in the middle .Oh and this boy, would be happy was perfect. Eddies vocal similarity to John Lennons is faultless.

After this was a selection of songs from the A Hard Days Night LP. Hearing If I Fell performed live for the first time was fantastic. And I Love Her was beautiful, and Rick captured Georges youthful vocal style perfectly in Im Happy Just To Dance With You.

It was a shame that previous 1963 songs, such as It Wont Be Long, Devil In Her Heart and Anna had been dropped, but with the replacements being at the standard they were, I think the audience were prepared to overlook this!

Then followed a reading from Johns book, In His Own Write. This was a nice touch to the usual standard gig, and was well received.

Then, for Ringos solo spot!
I think its about time Ringo had a chance to sing! said C.B. Paul, and the audience agreed! The opening riff to Honey Dont was played, and was one of the best performances of the evening. The audience loved it, which was evident from the rapturous applause received at the end.

As the first half drew to a close, Twist and Shout was almost inevitable. The curtain fell, and 400 people made a synchronised dash to the toilets/ice-creams/fresh air.

15 minutes passed, and the second half was upon us. Help! was the first track to be played, followed by I Need You, Youre Going To Lost That Girl, and a few others from 1965. A new addition to the set, Paperback Writer, was perhaps one of the trickiest songs the C.B.s couldve chosen, with its multi-tracked vocals and driving bass-line, but the song was a success, the vocals sounded fantastic, and the Frere Jacques harmony was perfect.

Next up, two of the best performances of the evening. Everyone but C.B. John left the stage, and he was telling the audience that while theyd been to America theyd met a musician named Bob Dylan, whod inspired him to write the next song: Youve Got To Hide Your Love Away. With the audience joining in on the Hey! at the start of the chorus, the song was carried along at an unusually uplifting pace. The flute solo at the end was instead whistled, and the applause was huge, and deservedly so.

Then, C.B. George was on stage, acoustic guitar at the ready. His outfit was reminiscent of George in 1968, which gave some clues as to the next song.
The opening guitar solo to Here Comes The Sun was played, and there was a quiet appreciative acknowledgement from the crowd. It was so touching to hear everyone around me softly singing along, and as we applauded the song at the end, one lady behind proclaimed, Bloody fantastic, and she was dead right.

Then, for another new addition The Ballad of John & Yoko. This was another difficult choice Johns vocal style in the original is very unique. The Paul harmonies in the last verse were perhaps a little too understated, but apart from this, an otherwise brilliant performance.

Then, it was time for C.B. Ringo to shine again! The Sgt. Pepper reprise, just like Paul McCartneys version in his recent Back In The World tour, followed an amazing drum solo from The End. The band left the stage and the audience were on their feet, cheering and clapping for what seemed like hours. Eventually, the band returned to do an encore, and what a fantastic way to end the show!  An outstanding performance from C.B. George, with Roll Over Beethoven, and a perfect penultimate performance of Long Tall Sally by C.B. Paul, whose vocal range is up there with the real Paul!

To end, Revolution, which is one of my favourite tracks. At the end of the song, the band played their guitars near the amps, which created a fantastic cacophony of noise. They left the stage, and we left the theatre, with smiles on our faces, and slightly less hearing than we'd come in with.

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