Tag Archives: Let It Be

REVIEW: Let It Be – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

2019 marks 50 years since The Beatles walked over that famous crossing on Abbey Road, 50 years since they played on the roof of the Apple Corps. building on Savile Row and 49 years since they released their last album. Seen by over two million people worldwide, Let It Be, continue their celebration of the music of The Beatles with a brand-new show for 2019.

The revamped show is split into two halves: the first a potted history of the Fab Four, starting from the famous Royal Variety Performance in 1963, through Shea Stadium to Sgt. Pepper and beyond. The second, is set a decade after The Beatles went their separate ways. It’s the 9th of October 1980, John Lennon’s 40th birthday, the band reunite for one night only for “the ultimate concert that never was”. Here we get a chance to hear some of the hits from each Beatles’ solo careers.

Let It Be is the Rolls Royce of Beatles celebration acts and the quality of the musicianship is outstanding. Emanuele Angeletti (Paul McCartney), John Brosnan, Ben Cullingworth (Ringo Starr) and Richard Jordan (John Lennon), go beyond simple impersonation. To the ear, this is as close as you are going to get to the real thing. Every specific tone and intonation of each man is captured in impressive detail.

While fans of the original show may wish to see something a bit different from the usual history and greatest hits of The Beatles, it is understandable that after seven years the performers and producers might want to shake things up a bit. This production is very much a show of two halves and while the quality of the vocals and musicianship never dips, the choice of songs in the second half mean that there’s a distinct shift in atmosphere. The joyous celebration of The Beatles early years is replaced by some more sombre moments from their later careers. That said, the whole evening ends on a high and with the audience on their feet, a series of Fab Four classics sending the crowd out into the rainy night with these musical masterpieces ringing in their ears.  Well worth catching if you can.

Review originally written for THE REVIEWS HUB | Image: Anthony Robling

 

REVIEW: Let It Be – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

This article was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/let-it-be-kings-theatre-glasgow/

5 *****

In avoiding the usual pitfalls of the jukebox musical i.e. shoe-horning the greatest hits of a band around an unnecessary narrative, Let It Be emerges triumphant as the perfect example of how to give your audience exactly what it wants.

The producers have clearly acknowledged that it’s the music that is key. And it’s this simplicity of vision that is its greatest strength. Why tamper with some of the most iconic tunes ever produced by arguably the world’s greatest band? Billed as a ‘theatrical concert’ it is precisely that; a whistle-stop but finely detailed and evocative recreation of The Beatles live, complete with era-by-era costume and scene changes.

It charts the evolution of the Beatles sound from their dimly lit Cavern Club beginnings to their final days, and with 40 songs over two and a half hours there’s certainly a lot of bang for your buck. As the years roll back the irresistible pull of the music takes hold of the enthusiastic audience, who, in true concert fashion, stay on their feet throughout.

The greatest strength of the whole endeavor though is the supremely talented cast (chosen from a company of eight each evening) and their ability to recreate almost perfectly the original Beatles sound. And oh, what a sound they make, the quality of both the playing and the singing is excellent throughout. On opening night here in Glasgow it’s down to James Fox (Paul), Ben Cullingworth (Ringo), Michael Gagliano (John), Paul Mannion (George) and in support on keyboard Steve Geere to be the Fab Four. It seems churlish to single anyone out in such a hugely talented group of musicians but Fox particularly shines, in possession of a show-stopping voice he also faithfully recreates the wide-eyed look that McCartney is well-known for (so good is he that we’ll even forgive the fact that he’s a right-hander) and captures McCartney’s vocal inflection perfectly. Gagliano too, skilfully recreates Lennon’s little quirks as well as his sound and Mannion and Cullingworth’s superb musicianship just shines throughout.

The prevailing tone is upbeat with a rip-roaring wall of sound but there’s a nice contrast in an acoustic section in the second half which allows some of the Beatles more thoughtful and introverted work to be showcased.

This is a sheer joy from start to finish and leaves not only the people in the cheap sheets clapping but everyone: man, woman and child, whooping, hollering and rattling anything they can to show their appreciation for these wonderful musicians and this joyous celebration of the band that changed the face of music forever. Do yourself a favour and get along to see it if you can.

Runs until Sat 5 May then touring

Image: Brinkhoff/Mogenburg