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Beatlemania revisited

Beatlemania revisited
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First Published: Wed, Nov 03 2010. 09 11 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Nov 03 2010. 09 11 PM IST
It is only second to actually watching the Beatles live and perhaps not even a close second, but even critical ears are said to have been impressed by the acts of the Cavern Beatles who strive to sound and look as closely as possible to the Beatles.
The four-member band from Liverpool is now in India.
At the outset, they were just one of the many bands in Britain that attempted to emulate the Beatles, but the Cavern Beatles, who like the original band, are from Liverpool, are perhaps the only band that has been consistently popular for the decade they have been around for. “After the Beatles broke up, there was a rush of groups that tried doing covers of the band,” says Richard Alan of Cavern Beatles. He plays George Harrison. “It was an easy decision for all of us. We love the Beatles and when dressed, complete with wigs and all, we looked strikingly like the quartet,” says Alan.
The other members of the group are Paul McDonough (John Lennon), Roy Hitchen (Ringo) and Derek Stratton (Paul McCartney). Alan and Stratton first formed the band in 1999 with two other musicians who were later replaced by McDonough and Hitchen.
The band initially got together to play covers of their favourite bands. It didn’t take them long to realize that they got the best response when they performed numbers by the Liverpool gods. Soon, they won a British National TV talent show for their acts and even got written about by Tony Barrow, the former Beatles publicist, in an exclusive Beatles magazine called The Beatles Book. Barrow spotted them at a show in Manchester and featured them in the magazine.
The four musicians spend hours watching videos of the Beatles’ live performances, so that they can imitate each band member as closely as possible. “We imitate their mannerism, their style and most importantly, their music which is very close to our hearts,” says Alan. “If we brought bits of ourselves into the performance then we’d be defeating the purpose of being the Cavern Beatles,” he says. The Cavern Beatles are endorsed by the Cavern club in Liverpool, where the original band are said to have played around 293 times.
The 2-hour show will roll out in three parts, the first with songs from the Beatles’ inception up to the end of 1964, performed in black suits. Act 2 will begin with the Beatles’ performance at the Shea Stadium, New York, wearing military-style jackets. The final act with a quick costume change goes into an Abbey Road/psychedelia-era presentation.
The Cavern Beatles will be performing in Goa tomorrow; UB City, Bangalore, on 5 November; and in Chennai on 6 November at the SMVS Concert Hall.
pavitra.j@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Nov 03 2010. 09 11 PM IST