Concert Review – The Born Again Beatles

Concert Review – The Born Again Beatles – Lichfield Guildhall – May 10th 2013

Reviewed by: Ben Macnair

Lichfield Arts finished their Spring 2013 season in good fashion when local tribute band The Born Again Beatles performed at Lichfield Guildhall.

After a show stealing performance at last year’s Fuse Festival the four piece played a full two hour set, playing some of the most popular songs ever written. The band, consisting of Steve Thompson (Paul McCartney) on bass and vocals, Stuart Howes (John Lennon) on vocals, keyboards, harmonica and vocals, Chris Newcombe (George Harrison) on lead guitar and vocals and Steve Hill (Ringo Starr) on Drums played straightforward versions of more than 30 of the fab four’s best known songs.

The Born Again Beatles

The show was not chronological, and songs were often melded into each other. Using the right equipment (Vox Amplifiers, Hofner Bass, Gretsch and Epiphone Guitars) the high energy show started with ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘I want to hold your hand’. The musicianship was of a uniformly high standard with accurate renditions of musical parts, whilst the vocal harmonies were as good as any Beatles tribute band.

‘Eight days a week’, ‘Paper back Writer’, ‘Drive my Car’, ‘Money’, ‘Lady Madonna’, ‘I feel fine’, ‘You’re going to lose that girl’, ‘Chains’, ‘Love me do’, ‘Please Please Me’ ‘Please Mr Postman’ ‘Get Back/Back in the USSR’ all featured in the first half, whilst a touching version of George Harrison’s ‘Something’ was expertly played and sung.

born-again-beatles

The energy level was lifted even further during the second half with many songs taken at a fast pace than the originals. Starting with a ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band/A Hard Day’s Night’ the songs continued with the acoustic ‘I Should have known better’.‘We can work it out’ was turned from an acoustic sing-along to a song full of soulful intensity, whilst the covers songs that featured in the Beatles early sets in Hamburg, such as ‘Roll over Beethoven’ ‘Rock and Roll Music’ and ‘Twist and Shout’ were well received.

‘Daytripper’ ‘Help’ ‘Ticket to Ride’ were all delivered energy, and gave the audience chance to sing along, whilst an upbeat, gospel ‘Let it Be’ finished the second set.

An encore of ‘Hey Jude’ with a few sing along choruses for the enthusiastic audience was a fitting way to finish the concert. It is a pity that few of the Beatles ballads, or their more humourous material were included. ‘Yesterday’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ or ‘Blackbird’ were not performed, and songs such as ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ ‘Act Naturally’ or ‘Octopus’s Garden’ would have added some lightness to the set.

In all, a fine evening of quality music, played by quality musicians, and well worth seeing.

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