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'Let It Be' tribute musical comes to the Beatles' stomping ground

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The “Let It Be” musical opened a five-day run April 7 in the Beatles' home town at the Liverpool Empire, a venue where the Beatles themselves played on numerous occasions, which our Liverpool correspondent Donna Jackson attended. The audience included John Lennon's half-sister, Julia Baird, according to the Liverpool Echo. Also in the audience were Freda Kelly, Len Garry and Colin Hanton from the Quarrymen, Roag Best (Pete's brother), Joe Flannery and Liverpool Lord Mayor, Gary Miller.

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Jackson said she thought the band's performance was uneven at best. “They were definitely better at the later stuff. The music and the acting (not that there was much acting; it was really just a concert) was much better in the second half than the first half.”

She also said there wasn't a whole lot of charisma from the group.

“There was little 'spark' between the band,” she said. “They were playing a role and they were OK at it but that was all. The 'John' didn't invoke John at all. The 'George' and 'Ringo' were pretty good at their roles, but the 'Paul' over-acted so much in the early years that it was almost caricature.” She did say “George” had a couple of really fabulous guitar solos.

“And as for the accents, well, there really are no words! They probably would have been acceptable anywhere other than Liverpool, but here it was just embarrassing.”

Overall, she said about the snow, “the musicians had some talent, and there are certainly plenty of worse tribute bands. But really, the show was just a tribute band with some fancy visual effects. The visual effects were really good and I enjoyed them. It was definitely brave bringing the show to Liverpool!” She also noted she was with a disc jockey friend who said he caught John miming to a few songs, though she said the program said it was all live.”

It's tough bringing a show like this to Liverpool, she noted.

“The problem is that we're spoiled. There are better bands on at the Cavern pretty much every night at the week and we can see them for next-to-nothing.”

And as the Liverpool Echo, put it, bringing the show to Liverpool was “the musical equivalent of coals to Newcastle.”

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