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, featuring 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 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, while the vocal harmonies were as good as any Beatles tribute band.
Eight Days A Week, Paperback Writer, Drive My Car, Money, Lady Madonna, I Feel Fine, You’re Going To Lose That Girl, Chains, Love Me Do, Please Mr Postman and Get Back/Back in the USSR all featured in the first half, while a touching version of George Harrison’s Something was expertly played and sung.
The energy level was lifted even further during the second half with many songs taken at a faster pace than the originals.
Starting with Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and 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, while the cover 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 and Ticket To Ride were all delivered energetically and gave the audience chance to sing along, while 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. The only downside was that few of the Beatles ballads, or their more humourous material was played.
Yesterday, The Long and Winding Road and Blackbird were not performed, and songs such as Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Yellow Submarine, Act Naturally or Octopus’ 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.