Fab Four back in town

Tickets for the Beatles concert in Scarborough.
Tickets for the Beatles concert in Scarborough.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then it is a glowing tribute to pop music’s greatest ever band.

Beatlemania arrived in Scarborough on December 11, 1963, when the Fab Four played the first of their two gigs at the town’s Futurist Theatre.

Nearly half-a-century since the legendary group trod the boards in the seaside resort, some of the leading tribute acts to The Beatles will be in Scarborough this weekend.

The festival celebrating the Mop-Tops and Merseybeat is being staged at the Scarborough Spa with the aim of uniting both young and old fans of the most enduring sounds spanning the last half-a-century.

Organisers have lined up an eclectic mix of acts to mark the 50-year anniversary since The Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do.

Performers who are due to appear include an all-female tribute band as well as one of the leading impersonators of Paul McCartney – and The Mersey Beatles, who have been resident at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club for a decade.

The two-day festival is being held at the Spa, just down the road from The Futurist Theatre where the original band played the two dates at the height of Beatlemania.

The Beatles played the Futurist in December 1963 as part of a nationwide tour before they returned the following summer for an one-off concert in August 1964.

Organiser Steve Foley admitted that he was inspired by John, Paul, George and Ringo to embark on his own musical career in the late 1960s when he toured with a series of bands.

He also set up his own recording studio in Manchester and recorded albums for several hundred acts, including The Alarm and the lead singer of The Buzzcocks, Pete Shelley.

Mr Foley said: “The Beatles have been such a huge part of people’s lives throughout the years and the music is still an inspiration today.

“We’d love to think that some of the people who will be coming were there at those gigs at the Futurist.

“But we want to see the younger fans come along as well, as the music is as relevant as ever.

“You only need to look at what happened during the 1990s with Britpop and bands like Oasis and Blur to realise that.”

A total of 10 acts have been confirmed at the Beatles Festival, which is being held today and tomorrow.

Among those set to appear are the all-female tribute act, The Beatelles, and The Macca Band with Neil Tudor, who take The Beatles’ bass guitarist as their inspiration.

The Cavernites will also be appearing and will perform a set including tracks from The Beatles as well as other 1960s icons such as The Rolling Stones and The Kinks.

Mr Foley said: “Everybody will want to hear the old favourites like Hey Jude, but the back catalogue of The Beatles is so huge that there is always the chance you could go through the whole weekend without actually hearing the same song twice.”

The festival will also feature stalls selling memorabilia while photographer Stuart Homer will take visitors’ photos and superimpose them onto a Beatles album cover as a souvenir, with all donations going to the Kidney Research UK charity.

“We hope to make this an annual event together with several other festivals planned for Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion in 2013, ” said Mr Foley.

Running order:

SATURDAY AFTERNOON NOON - 5PM

THE MACCA BAND

THE BEATELLES

THE MERZEES

JOHNNY & THE MOONDOGS

BJ LEWIS

IMAGE OF LENNON

SATURDAY EVENING 7PM - MIDNIGHT

THE MACCA BAND

THE BEATELLES

THE MERZEES

BJ LEWIS

IMAGE OF LENNON

SUNDAY AFTERNOON NOON - 5PM

THE BEATLE 5

HEY BEATLES

THE CAVERNITES

BJ LEWIS

SUNDAY EVENING 7PM - MIDNIGHT

THE MERSEY BEATLES

THE BEATLE 5

HEY BEATLES

THE CAVERNITES

BJ LEWIS