In 2012 I saw the Stone Roses play at Heaton Park, Manchester. It was a wonderful experience, emotional really – finally, one of my favorite bands in the flesh. Somehow, I felt the exact same sensations yesterday at the Playhouse, when 4 talented young musicians replicated most meticulously what the Beatles would have sounded like. Here was had Ben Cullingworth as a bang-on Ringo, Michael Bramwell as John, Emanuelle Angeletti as a head-bobbing Paul & John Brosnan as George.
This is the second incarnation of the Let It Be touring show, which includes a post-interval section set at John Lennons’ 40th mythical birthday get together in 1980, when the lads jam through some of their solo work. All in all dozens of classic songs were played immaculately , a key plus to all this was the hearing some of their later music live – the Beatles had initially quit touring after their momentous gig at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966, the height of Beatlemania. No-one could hear a note over all the screaming. They began recording some killer albums, & apart from a gig on a London rooftop in 1969, that was it for live concerts.
To see some of Sergeant Peppers being played by the Let it Be company is worth the entrance fee alone. Meticulous costume work, sublime & visual treats & incredible musicianship create the perfect illusion. Despite George Martin’s profundity for overdubs & orchestras, the arrival of keyboard wizard (I didn’t catch his name) replicated everything perfectly. It wasn’t flawless – George Harrison’s accent, for example – but pretty damn close; all the instruments were played live, while the four tvs beamed love footage of the gig, or of concert crowds from the 60s & even adverts between set changes. I cannot praise Let It Be highly enough – what a cracker, & to see an entire auditorium on their feet singing Hey Jude was an even greater spectacle than the brilliant show I’d been completely immersed in for two & a half hours.