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
But I had a
good time; to hear bits of Beatles tunes played exactly
like the originals is always welcome.
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 (don’t ask).
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 Cavern’s 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 “John’s” solo
in the middle – “….Oh and this boy, would be
happy……” was perfect. Eddie’s vocal similarity
to John Lennon’s is faultless.
was a selection of songs from the “A Hard Day’s
Night” LP. Hearing “If I Fell” performed live for
the first time was fantastic. “And I Love Her” was
beautiful, and Rick captured George’s youthful vocal
style perfectly in “I’m Happy Just To Dance With
It was a
shame that previous 1963 songs, such as “It Won’t 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!
followed a reading from John’s book, “In His Own
Write”. This was a nice touch to the usual standard
gig, and was well received.
“Ringo’s” solo spot!
“I think it’s about time Ringo had a chance to
sing!” said C.B. Paul, and the audience agreed! The
opening riff to “Honey Don’t” 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.
passed, and the second half was upon us. “Help!” was
the first track to be played, followed by “I Need
You”, “You’re 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 could’ve 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 they’d been to America they’d
met a musician named Bob Dylan, who’d inspired him to
write the next song: “You’ve 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
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
another new addition – “The Ballad of John &
Yoko”. This was another difficult choice – John’s
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
Then, it was
time for C.B. Ringo to shine again! The Sgt. Pepper
reprise, just like Paul McCartney’s 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!
“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.