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Beatles tribute act took the crowd on a magical mystery tour

The Cavern Beatles at Canterbury's Gulbenkian Theatre
The Cavern Beatles at Canterbury's Gulbenkian Theatre

The Cavern Beatles

Canterbury's Gulbenkian Theatre

Being taken on a magical mystery tour by one of the best Beatles tribute acts around evokes an eerie but fascinating feeling of deja vu.

With some impersonators you need to close your eyes and imagine. The moment The Cavern Beatles stepped onto the stage at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury it was as if we were transported back to the 60s with John, Paul, George and Ringo themselves.

John and Paul were fine doppelgangers in not only voice but also looks and mannerisms. George and Ringo were certainly no back numbers.

The great pity was the poor turn-out to see such talented singers and musicians. It led Paul to comment dryly: “This is intimate – like a private party.”

But that didn’t stop those present enjoying a great evening’s entertainment of two hours of some of the finest songs ever written and performed.

The Cavern Beatles are true Scousers, unlike their rivals The Bootleg Beatles, and the only Beatles band fully endorsed and licensed by the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Fab Four made their debut in 1961.

They are billed as the closest you will get to the real thing (though The Bootleg Beatles may have something to say about that) and it is hard to argue with such a boast.

They replicate the band down to the finest detail with their instruments, amps, changing hairstyles and, of course, the music.

Most fascinating was John’s spitting image, holding the guitar high, flexing his knees and making quips.

The group started in their early mop top phase in glossy wigs, collarless suits and Cuban hills and hit belted out I Saw Her Standing There. From then on it was a cascade of pearls such as Please Please Me, From Me To You, All My Loving, She Loves You and Back in the USSR.

Paul played the distinctive bass guitar left-handed but switched to right-handed for a brilliant acoustic rendition of Yesterday that would impress Macca himself.

The second set started with a cosmic atmosphere and the sound of sitars, smoke billowing around the stage and incense to herald the creative flower power Sergeant Pepper album.

Those smart enough to buy tickets were on their feet clapping and singing along to the words we all knew so well.

A quality performance by The Cavern Beatles underlined just how good the originals were. John rounded the evening off perfectly with that famous quote: “I hope we passed the audition.” They certainly did.

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