Friday, 7 April 2017

Trembling Wilburys are playing a special Good Friday show - April 14

The Trembling Wilburys are playing a special Good Friday show on April 14th at London Welsh RFC in Richmond, Surrey. The guys also played it last Easter and had a great turnout including Mick Avory of the Kinks & Mike Berry.

The Trembling Wilburys is the UK’s first and best tribute to rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, the amazing band formed in 1988 by George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. This first-class band has wowed audiences around the South East and beyond for over five years with their musicianship, humour and infectious feel-good factor as they perform a selection of classic hits made famous by the individual members as well a selection of songs from the Traveling Wilburys' two albums.

Band members include Glen Knowler as George Harrison, the closest look & sound-alike to the late Beatle in the world, while Dave Collison perfectly captures Roy Orbison‘s incredible vocal range and style. Andy McNish doubles as Bob Dylan & Tom Petty, while bassist Marko Laver plays Jeff Lynne including a couple of ELO classics. Completing the line-up are lead guitarist Dzal Martin, one of London’s most respected players; keyboard player Howard Robin aka "Ludwig van Wilbury"; and drummer Dave Stark who has played with many bands including the John Lennon Experience and on one occasion The Quarrymen, the band that became The Beatles.

As well as performing at theatres and rock venues around the country the band has also played some prestigious events including the Heritage Foundation's Blue Plaque event for George Harrison and John Lennon at the old Apple building on Baker Street, as well as being regular guests at Beatles conventions both here and abroad. Other recent events include Blue Plaque lunches for drummer Tony Meehan of The Shadows as well as actors Burt Kwouk and Sir Alec Guinness.

In fact every Trembling Wilburys show is an event which audiences cherish and remember for a long time afterwards. From Roy Orbison classics such as "Only The Lonely", "Crying" and "Pretty Woman" to Beatles hits like "Something", "Here Comes The Sun" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", to Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", Petty's "I Won't Back Down", Lynne's "Hold On Tight" and Wilburys classics "Handle With Care" & "En Of The Line", we guarantee you will be kept spellbound by this band's versatility and faithful renditions of so many memorable songs.

Tickets are £13 advance or £15 on the door

To book contact Mark at Barnes Rock on 07900 887456 or email mark@barnesrock.co.uk

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Not to be missed! The Analogues are Coming to London May 22

The Analogues are an amazing group of musicians who pick up where The Beatles left off after their last show on August 29th 1966 and became a studio band for the rest of their career together.

On May 22nd The Analogues will perform Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band live and in its entirety at The Indigo O2, fifty years after this most famous Beatles album was originally released.

This will be their first show in London after 47 sell out dates in The Netherlands and Belgium to ecstatic audiences. 

The band have a passionate commitment to authentically reproducing live, music only previously heard in the confines of Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios.

Playing a unique collection of vintage instruments from the period with full string and horn sections means the audience will hear a note perfect reproduction of this most iconic album for the first time.

Geoff Emerick, who was the Sound Engineer on all the studio albums at Abbey Road from 1966 - 1970 and worked closely with The Beatles as they created Sergeant Pepper is a huge fan of The Analogues and commented on hearing them for the first time, "Listening to the Analogues, I have never heard anything come so close to the original records."

The Analogues are not a cover band or Beatles tribute with wigs and costumes but an exceptionally talented group of Beatles' loving musicians reverentially recreating a note perfect performance of The Beatles studio albums never heard live...until now.

As Geoff Emerick said on hearing them perform, "they get these records absolutely perfect. If you close your eyes you would really be listening to the original recordings sounding the way they are supposed to sound for the first time. Even The Beatles couldn't reproduce Sergeant Pepper live".

 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Advance discount tickets on sale now for unique Beatles double anniversary

Unique Beatles Double Anniversary to be celebrated at Hare & Hounds on 4 June.

50 advance discount tickets at only £12.50 have just been released for a unique show by John Lennon's sister Julia Baird's favourite Beatles tribute band.

It will be 50 years ago in June 1963 that The Beatles released what is regarded by many to be the greatest album of all time - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Now King's Heath Walk Of Fame are delighted to present The Mersey Beatles in a special intimate gig at the award winning Hare & Hounds on Sunday 4 June in a unique double celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the album's release and the 54th Anniversary of The Beatles third and final appearance in 1963 at the now sadly burnt down Ritz Ballroom next door to the Hare & Hounds on York Road, King's Heath, Birmingham.

Often described as 'the Best Beatles tribute band', The Mersey Beatles were all born and grew up in Liverpool. They were the resident band at the legendary Cavern Club for over 10 years and now regularly tour throughout Europe and the U.S.A.

Earlier this year they returned to perform their Sgt Pepper show at Liverpool's prestigious Epstein Theatre. John Lennon's sister Julia Baird comparing them to other Beatles tribute bands said 'The Mersey Beatles are the most authentic I've heard ... and I've heard them all'.

Joe Flannery, Brian Epstein's assistant, said 'When I saw them in The Cavern they perfectly recreated the atmosphere that the original Beatles produced. It was like listening to The Beatles again'. A review of a previous show said 'The quality of the music was superb with each song reproduced in the original key with spot-on harmonies and perfect guitar solos that had the audience marvelling at the sheer quality of the talent on view'.

In the first half of the concert The Mersey Beatles will perform Sgt Pepper in it's entirety and in the second half 20 of The Beatles greatest hits. Support to be announced. Doors open 7 pm

First 50 Advance Discount tickets cost just £12.50 from www.skiddle.com/e/12922152
Standard tickets will then cost £15.
The Hare and Hounds is a standing and dancing only venue.

The Beatles One Day - April 30


New Play - JOHN LENNON'S MISSING BANJO

"The very first tune I ever learned to play was 'That'll Be The Day'. My mother Julia taught it to me on the banjo, sitting there with endless patience until I managed to work out all the chords."
JOHN LENNON 
A NEW PLAY TO PREMIERE AT THE EPSTEIN THEATRE ABOUT JOHN LENNON'S MISSING BANJO - THE GREATEST MYSTERY IN POP MUSIC

From the writer of the stage play adaptation of Helen Forrester's 'Twopence to Cross the Mersey' comes a brand-new comedy about the disappearance of Lennon's first musical instrument.

The play is based on the 2012 novel 'Julia's Banjo' by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones and will mark the 60th anniversary of Julia Lennon's death and the disappearance of the banjo she taught her son to play.

 Produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, Lennon's Banjo will open at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 24th April 2018 for a two-week run until Saturday 5th May. Full cast and creative team to be announced soon.

Set in present day Liverpool: When Beatles tour guide Barry Seddon finds a letter written by John Lennon he unearths a clue to the solving the greatest mystery in pop history - the whereabouts of Lennon's first musical instrument which has been missing for 60 years. But Barry's loose tongue alerts Texan dealer, Travis Lawson, to the priceless relic. In an attempt to get his hands on the letter and the clues within he persuades his beautiful wife, Cheryl, to befriend the hapless tour guide and win his affections. The race for the holy grail of pop memorabilia is on!

 "The intrigue and mystery surrounding Lennon's missing banjo, and the logic that it could be sitting in somebody's attic right now, has the potential to make headlines around the world. The story crosses over beautifully from fiction to fact and back again to tease and tantalise the reader that every word is true." Trinity Mirror book review 

So where do the facts end and the fiction begin? Everything will be revealed in this fast paced, comic caper, multi-media play.

Stage writer and Co-producer Rob Fennah said: "The banjo has been described as the holy grail of pop memorabilia - and for good reason. Without it, there wouldn't have been a Beatles and, without them, everything we know today would be different. Given that a piano John once owned went under the hammer at Sotheby's in 2000 for 1.5 million pounds, it's reasonable to assume the banjo, the first instrument the greatest rock and roll legend ever learned to play, would be worth millions more. As a Beatles fan, I knew all about Julia and how she taught John to play banjo but, what I didn't know, until a dealer at a Beatles convention told me, was that the banjo, the catalyst that changed the world, went missing shortly after Julia Lennon died in 1958. It's the most fascinating tale in pop history and I honestly believe it's out there somewhere just waiting to be found."

Co-producer Bill Elms added: "The story is so true to life that the audience will leave the theatre secretly wanting to solve the mystery for themselves. It's The Beatles meet the Da Vinci Code, an hilarious treasure hunt romp through Beatledom."

Missing for 60 years. The holy grail of pop is now worth millions to whoever finds it!

Watch the Promo Video here https://youtu.be/ddpVnRStAmo
For more info visit www.lennonsbanjo.com

Friday, 17 March 2017

Proud Chelsea Exhibition The Beatles Unseen - Photographs by David Magnus

Copyright David Magnus
Exhibit runs March 16 through May 14, 2017

Proud Galleries is pleased to present ‘The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus’ a moving documentation of the legendary band’s phenomenal ascent by photographer David Magnus, who bore witness to some of their greatest moments. This exhibition, featuring many previously unseen photographs, is a fascinating and deeply candid insight into The Beatles during an historic occasion taken at the world famous EMI Studio 1 in Abbey Road.

BBFC treasurer, Ernie Sutton, attended the opening night and reports that this exhibit is well worth a visit so don't miss it.  Find out more on the gallery website and learn more about how David Magnus first met the Beatles.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Event - ABBEY ROAD LIVE AT PARR ST

Famed for its iconic cover image and classic songs, the album 'Abbey Road' was never performed in concert by The Beatles themselves... On Saturday 22nd April, 2017, a seven-piece band of professional musicians will be recreating the sound and spirit of this incredible record, live on stage at Parr St. Studio 2 in Liverpool!

Hailed by many as a 'Masterpiece' and 'One of the Greatest Albums of All Time', 1969's 'Abbey Road' was the final album The Beatles recorded together before going their separate ways in the spring of 1970.

Encompassing a broad range of styles, as eclectic as the four individuals who composed and performed it, Abbey Road effortlessly blends genres such as blues rock and vaudeville pop, alongside progressive rock, elegant ballads, and of course the epic suite at the album's close, serving as one of Rock's greatest swan songs.

Join us for another walk down Abbey Road, lovingly recreated and performed in Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles. With a full evening of music, including support, and a Beatles-themed after party, this unique event is not to be missed.

' Come Together and Hear Abbey Road from the beginning to The End'



Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Don't miss this - Pete Best of the Beatles play returning in March

Stephen Kennedy's play PETE BEST OF THE BEATLES is returning to the stage in Dublin for four performances at the end of March. It will be on at The Complex (just off Capel Street) from March 29th until April 1st. The show starts each night at 7.30pm and ends at 10pm. Tickets cost €15 and are on sale at www.tickets.ie
 

This play had a very successful debut run at the New Theatre in Temple Bar, Dublin,in February 2016 – and Padraic McGinley is returning to play the part of Pete Best again for this short run. Padraic is superb in the lead role – and he will be joined in the play by Jerome Corby who will perform the part of ‘Voice’.

As you know, Pete was drummer with The Beatles for two years in the early 1960s. He played hundreds of shows with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison – and then was mysteriously sacked a few short weeks before they released their debut single (‘Love Me Do’) and went on to take over the world. This play took Stephen over two years to research and write. It examines the mystery of Pete’s firing from the greatest rock ’n’ roll group of all time – and it presents a fascinating insight into the early days of The Beatles and their wild nights in Liverpool and Hamburg. As the logo for the show states… “If you think you know The Beatles – you’re wrong!”


About the playwright – Stephen Kennedy has had his work broadcast on the BBC (John Lennon’s Last Day), RTE (Death and The Beatles Fan) and Radio Merseyside (Lennon v McCartney). He is also author of The Beatle Monologues which was on in Dublin last November. Stephen’s stage plays have been performed in Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, Dundee, Berlin and Washington DC.  And he is also Director of the Dublin Beatles Festival.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Hot off the presses - Issue 61 is out now

Issue 61 of our quarterly magazine is out now and it was worth the wait - full of great stuff. If you are a member, it is in the post. Non members can order a copy from our website here.

Issue 61 (February 2017) includes:
  • The Beatles A Day In The Life
  • Coming Up Forthcoming Events
  • Media Watch
  • White Album on One Disc
  • Beatles Song Titles Puzzle
  • Allan Williams 1930-2016
  • Sam Leach 1935-2016
  • The Beatles NOT For Sale
  • Paperback Writers
  • Looking For The 4th Beatle
  • Try Some, Buy Some New Releases
  • BBFC Offers & Merchandise
  • As I Write This Letter
  • Crap Photo of the Month

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Review: RINGO STARR AND THE BEATLES BEAT

Alex Cain & Terry McCusker 
Matador Books 
ISBN 978 1 785899 553
Price £30.00 

At last a book about Ringo and drumming.

The authors have both enjoyed careers as drummers, and with a foreword by Don Powell, (the drummer with glam rock band Slade), we have the ideal book for drummers and Ringo fans.

Terry McCusker witnessed The Beatles live at the Cavern in the early 1960’s, and along with Alex Cain have put together an appreciation of Ringo and his drumming.

When I first read the book, my initial reaction was that it was targeted for drummers, but as I went further into it, I found myself reading a real appreciation of Ringo.

The book begins with a section of how to use drum notation, and what the different parts of a drum kit are, followed by a short piece on Terry’s recollections of Merseybeat and The Cavern.

The book then looks at some of the many drummers The Beatles had before Ringo came along, including Colin Hanton, Mike McCartney, Garston Bottle Works very own Tommy Moore, and, of course, Pete Best.

A mini Ringo biography follows, before we look at the two drummers who played with The Beatles after Ringo had joined- Andy White, Jimmy Nicol and Paul McCartney.

Ringo’s styles and kits are then analysed. I found the drum kits especially interesting.

The book then looks at recording and the producers and engineers of The Beatles’ records, before we get to the nitty gritty of the book.

Of the 400 pages, 262 look at The Beatles songs, with brief information of each song, and part of the drum notation, so if you own a drum kit, you can play along. When I got to this part, I was tempted to get a drum kit and try it out, but my room is too small!

All in all, a book all drummers should own, and one many Beatle fans, particularly those that love Ringo and have an interest in playing, will thoroughly enjoy.

~Ernie Sutton.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Here There and Everywhere - A Film made by Fans for Fans!

A Film made by Fans for Fans! Supported by The Cavern Club, The Beatles Story Museum, The Hard Days Night Hotel, The Fest For Beatles Fans, Abbey Road on the River and The British Beatles Fan Club.

Here There And Everywhere (HTAE) is an 80-minute ‘love letter’ spanning the band’s history as seen through the eyes, felt through the hearts and as told through the memories of their fans . . . from those who organise the fan festivals and tribute concerts . . . the memorabilia collectors who amaze and delight with their rare and unseen photographs and films. . . The Club runners who keep the fans together, to the authors and artists who continue to breathe fresh life into the never-ending magical mystery tour.

The film will feature never-before-seen, restored fan footage and photographs, providing a first-hand history about the opportunities created through the love of the band. Many artists and bands will pack HTAE with performances. Special licensed recordings will also be produced, featuring musicians and vocalists from around the world, creating a global Beatles  soundtrack.

Contributors to the Pledge campaign will receive a signed DVD of the movie before the launch. Those who pledge for the DVD offerings will also see their name on the film’s credits, if they pledge during the campaign. So yes, that’s right, your name will appear up in lights on the credits of this film.

As part of the ongoing production the producers will also encourage artists and animators around the world to include their Beatles-inspired interludes in the film. But perhaps most importantly, if you fans have a story to tell, then get in touch and we will look to see if we can include you and your story in the film. This is a fans film, so amidst the array of interviews and performances we want to include you! 

The film will launch at a number of iconic venues after release, with a TV network broadcast release at the conclusion of the project. The film will also be streamed on partner websites, with exclusive introduction interviews and extended excerpts at each partner site. Here There And Everywhere will also be shown at a number of film festivals, along with other staged releases,  including preview theatre and launch screenings in the UK, USA and Europe; to be confirmed. Production starts in late February/early March, 2017.

Click here to learn more.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Beatles All You Need Is Love Fest

Annual Celebration of Birmingham Debut at the Ritz Ballroom
Sunday 12 February 3-6 pm

FLETCHERS YORK ROAD KINGS HEATH B14 7SA



TOP LOCAL MUSICIANS PLAY THEIR FAVOURITE BEATLES’ LOVE SONGS
Acoustica, Alex Vann, David Garside, Eleanor Dattani,
The Eggmen, Goodall, Mr Apollo, Peters plays Lennon,
Tim Walkerdine, Ukulele Theatre + John Kennedy readings

ADVANCE TICKETS £4 Kitchen Garden Cafe or£4.40
www. wegottickets.com £5 ON THE DOOR
www.kingsheathwalkoffame.org.uk

The Beatles at the Ritz Ballroom

You may not believe it but it’s true! The Beatles played the tiny Ritz Ballroom on King’s Heath’s York Road not just once but three times. The ballroom was one of four venues run by Ma and Pa Regan in the 1960’s known as the Regan circuit.

Their first appearance was in 1962 after their first single “Love Me Do” was released. Their second was on 15 February 1963 just after the release of their second single “Please Please Me”. Originally
scheduled to appear on 11 January they had been prevented by blizzard like conditions from making the 11 mile journey to King’ Heath from one of the Regans other venues – The Plaza in Old Hill
Their third and final appearance was on 5 July 1963 after a last minute re-arrangement of venues on the Regan circuit.

Rubber Soul Rebound - 50th Anniversary re-make of The Beatles’ classic album

Rubber Soul Rebound was one of the last recordings made at King’s Heath’s legendary Highbury Studio. The album features The Move’s Trevor Burton, Fuzzbox’s ViX & her Ms Chiefs, Boat To Row’s Michael King, Abi Budgen & Dan Wilkins, Acoustica, David Garside, Eleanor Dattani, Goodall, Hannah Brown, Peters & Dog, Sylvia, The Eggmen and Tim Walkerdine and ends with an
ensemble version of “Run For Your Life” including a guitar solo by Steve Ajao. The CD costs just £10 and will be on sale at the Fest and via www.kingsheathwalkoffame.org.uk. All money raised will go to King’s Heath Walk Of Fame - a small charity that aims to commemorate King’s Heath’s amazing musical, cultural and sporting heritage through plaques, pavement stars and live events
info@kingheathwalkoffame.org.uk or phone 0121 689 2360 or 443 5237

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

REVIEW: MACCA THE PAUL McCARTNEY STORY



World Premiere Southport Theatre & Convention Centre - 21st January 2017

This new stage show stars Emanuele Angeletti, from the hit stage show “Let it be”, as Paul, with Jill Schoonjans playing Linda.

The first half of the show takes us back to the Wings 1976 World Tour, kicking off as it did then with “Venus and Mars/Rock Show”. Dressed as Paul was on that tour, the vocals and musicianship are great and take you back to that time, if you were lucky to see it, like I was. If you weren’t in the audience during that tour, it gives you a great insight into what Wings were all about, at what was probably their peak.

Some of the songs are shortened versions, so that more great songs can be included, but in this first half we are treated to “Too Many People” and “Another Day”, both songs from the 70’s but which didn’t feature on that 1976 tour. This adds to the pleasure experienced during the show.

Emanuele looks and sounds like Paul and has many of his mannerisms, making it seem like you are at a Paul McCartney gig. Denny Laine is represented with a great rendition of “Go Now”, and the acoustic section features “Yesterday”. 


The second half of the show focuses on the post 1970’s part of Paul’s career, featuring a number of songs that Paul has yet to play live including “Pipes of Peace”, “No More Lonely Nights” and “Ebony and Ivory”. Jill covers the Michael Jackson part of “Say Say Say” superbly, giving a fresh look to the song.

One of the highlights for me was the inclusion of “Hope of Deliverance”, a lesser known song but one that sounds great when performed live. We have a few Beatle numbers too such as “Got to Get You into my Life”, before the band take their leave of the stage before the inevitable encore. “I Saw Her Standing There” had everyone up and dancing in the aisles. The encore has a few surprises including “Mull of Kintyre” and “Dance Tonight” before we finish with a shortened version of “Hey Jude”.

All in all an excellent show, which Paul fans who love Wings and his concerts of today will thoroughly enjoy.
The show brings together a great selection of Paul’s post Beatles work making you realise what a great catalogue he has.

It is touring the UK for the next three months so watch out for it in a town near you.

Enjoy.

~ Ernie Sutton.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

SAM LEACH (1935-2016) & ALLAN WILLIAMS (1930-2016)


BBFC Membership Secretary Terry Bloxham with Sam Leach
The year 2016 has sadly seen a number of Beatle connections leave us, starting in January with George Martin, and ending in December with the sad news that Sam Leach and Allan Williams had both passed away within a few days of each other.

Sam was born in Liverpool and like many teenagers in Liverpool loved the rock ‘n’ roll music coming into the city from sailors returning from the USA. He started promoting shows in the Norris Green area of the city and eventually moved to the city centre, promoting shows at the legendary Iron Door in 1961.

In 1961 Sam saw The Beatles for the first time and started working with them. He was responsible for arranging their first appearance in the south of England in Aldershot in the December of that year. Overall he promoted them for over 40 shows between 1961 and 1962.

He promoted many shows at the New Brighton Tower Ballroom

In 1980 he was responsible for organizing the memorial service at St George’s Hall following John Lennon’s assassination.

He would subsequently appear at many Beatles festivals and conventions and for the past few years had a stall at the Adelphi on convention day just a couple away from the BBFC stall.

He was always polite and would oblige fans with photographs and autographs.

Sam’s role in the history of The Beatles is an extremely important one.


Cover of Allan Williams' CD
Allan Williams was born in Bootle on 17th March 1930, with his family roots in Wales.

As a teenager, Allan left home and began singing with Joe Loss.

With the Liverpool music scene starting to emerge in the late 1950’s he leased a shop on Slater Street, turning it into the Jacaranda Coffee Bar, which opened in September that year. John, Paul and Stuart Sutcliffe were regular customers and asked if they could play there. However, he commissioned John and Stu to decorate the venue, which eventually led to them playing there on occasions.

Allan was sending groups to Germany and had a good relationship with Horst Fascher and Brno Koschmider. When asked for another group, he was ready to send The Beatles in August 1960 with their new drummer Pete Best. Howie Casey (who would later play with Paul and Wings during their world tour of 1976), and at the time was playing in Hamburg, was not best pleased and felt if The Beatles went to Hamburg, it would be the end of the groups playing there.

With The Beatles having virtually no money, Allen drove them himself to Hamburg on this their first visit. Hamburg made The Beatles, playing 8 hours a night. They became a tight unit. Not just in playing, but as friends as well. Without Hamburg, The Beatles would not have been the phenomenon they became, and us Beatles fans have Allan to thank for that.

Allan was their manager until a disagreement over his commission saw him quit as manager in 1961. Brian Epstein appeared on the scene, and the rest as they say is history.

After The Beatles made it, Allan eventually released his book “The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away” in 1975 and was also responsible for recovering the tapes that eventually became the “Live at the Star Club” album released two years later.

He would later make an interview CD telling in his own words his story in 2000, on Bandline records.

He went on to write an even better book in 2003 called “The Fool on the Hill”, with a selection of Liverpool images and is a great reflection of Liverpool.

He was a regular at The Grapes on Mathew Street and frequently appeared at conventions, like Sam. Allan again would happily sign autographs and pose for pictures. Je also appears on the bonus disc of the “Eight Day’s A Week” dvd.

Without Allan and Sam, The Beatles history would be so different, and for that we thank them both.

We at the BBFC were extremely sad to hear of their passing and send our love and condolences to their families.


~ Ernie Sutton