The Mersey Beatles, Palace Theatre, Redditch
IT’S probably the most famous album cover in the world – four members of a pop group walking on a zebra crossing in Abbey Road, London.
Yet the music?
Abbey Road is regarded as one of the greatest records ever recorded, a disc which helped set the template of pop music for the next 50 years and still sounds incredibly fresh today.
The Mersey Beatles, Liverpool’s The Cavern’s own resident band, were in town for a concert marking the 50th anniversary of the album’s release, which they played in its entirety in the first half of the show.
There was genius in the air, but most of the audience just seemed to want to Twist And Shout, so while some of us wallowed in songs we hadn’t heard in some cases for decades, others chatted away incessantly or just grumbled.
But my goodness there were some great performances; ‘Paul’s’ singing on ‘Oh! Darling’ was knockout as was ‘John’s’ on ‘I Want You (She’s so Heavy)’ and who can knock George Harrison’s glorious ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’?
Before the end of the first set the couple next to us had headed off, probably for the Rising Sun, as they returned in good spirits just after the second half – rock ‘n’ roll to its core – started.
So we had the Fab Four’s version of Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ as well as ‘She Loves You’, ‘Eight Days a Week’ and more, with the entire audience on its feet and bopping away.
The contrast between a band at the cutting edge of its musical powers at the start of the show to one just setting out on its journey couldn’t have been greater.
And throughout, The Mersey Beatles were indeed Fab.