THE UPBEAT Beatles wowed the crowd at Bromsgrove’s Artrix with more than two hours of feelgood entertainment.
RogerChanning as John, Simon Blight as Paul, Colin Yates as George and James Jordan as Ringo were a lot more than a tribute act. The bandtook the audience on a musical journey of The Beatles ups and downs – from the early days of rock ‘n’ roll to the later years when they were arguably the most creative and inventive band the World has ever seen.
The show started with a film depicting Liverpool in 1957, explaining how the Fab Four were formed and the band belting out a few of the early classics, including From Me to You, She Loves You and Please Please Me.The screen was put to good use again to show how The Beatles became the first British band to make it in America, the spreading of Beatlemania in The States and that famous show at Shea Stadium.
As well as the films shown on a screen behind the band, they also spoke about the defining moments of each year and gave a few known and unknown facts here and there.The group had clearly done its homework and lived the music and showmanship of The Beatles, with the mannerisms and vocals both being spot on.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the evening was the banter – between the band members themselves and between them and the audience – The Beatles were, after all, renowned for their personalities, charisma and sense of humour, as well as the music.
Another aspect that is key when it comes to recreating that Beatles’ sound is the harmonies and The Upbeat Beatles have also got those down to a tee. This was
shown throughout, most notably in the first half with Nowhere Man and in the second half with Don’t Let Me Down, All You Need is Loveand the Ballad of John and Yoko.
Other musical highlights included moving renditions of Yesterday and Let it Be, a great version of Here Comes The Sun and an encapsulating performance of Blackbird where you could not keep your eyes off Paul’s fingers as they moved up and down the fret board.
The first half ended on a high with everyone up, dancing, singing and clapping to Twist and Shout and, after the break, the band returned in those memorable Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band outfits, performing the album’s title track and With a Little Help from My Friends. They then showed some of the more ‘fun’ songs, including When I’m 64 and Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da, before taking the audience through the Abbey Road years and the times when The Beatles had stopped touring because the creations were far too complex to perform on stage.
The show concluded with a mass singalong of Hey Jude, but not until they had managed to fit in another few early days rock ‘n’ roll numbers.
Bythe end, you were hoarse from singing and exhausted from all the clapping and foot-tapping and it has to be said, The Upbeat Beatles certainly live up to their name.