The Magic of the Beatles Review

Grand Opera House York Wed – 16 October 2019

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


I was looking forward to a good old Beatles fest and an evening of celebrating the Fab Four’s music. Growing up I can remember listening to all my mother’s Beatles albums, and ever since their tunes have always been a favourite of mine. A note here, my mum always said I could have her original lps, but unfortunately one of my brothers, after moving back home, decided to have a clear out and took them all to the tip. I was heartbroken, and still to this day am livid.

Entering the stage in their sharp black suits, the Fab Four, Paul (David Peterson), John (Clark Gilmour), George (Richard Petch) and Ringo (Joe Montague), started the ball rolling with She Loves You, which was only the beginning of a song packed show. Concentrating on the early part of their career, we were treated to hits, including Please, Please Me, Love Me Do, Hard Days Night, before a quick costume change and before the feast continues with tracks like Help, Paperback Writer and Ticket to Ride.

After what seemed an extended interval the band opened up the second half in full Sgt Pepper’s regalia, George’s outfit was a sight to behold. The hair was notably longer and the moustaches, started to make an appearance. The tunes of course continued, my favourites being Back in the USSR and Revolution and yet another costume change, John’s iconic white suit making an appearance.

This was truly a song packed show, and I came to realise that my personal preference is probably for their earlier or later music, their psychedelic phase not so much. All the while they stayed in character, each having at least one song to sing, and showed good interaction with the audience, with their cheeky Liverpudlian accents. This was predominately Paul and John, but only because they are the main vocalists. Montague, as Ringo, is a Yorkshire lad, and so this was his almost hometown show, and he loved it, encouraging us all to join in, drumsticks waving in the air.

All four showed great musicianship, creating that fab sound, and engaged well, injecting that bit of humour. Gilmour was amazing as John, both in looks and vocally. He showed a real connection with the audience, and even my other half, who does not do shows but accompanies me when needed, commented how good he was. Unfortunately, Peterson was full of cold I believe, and at times seemed to be suffering, but he still delivered and carried on regardless, a true artist. I do wonder though how different it would have been if he was fighting fit.

This was a great evening, dedicated to the Beatles, so very entertaining. It had me singing along and jigging in my seat, got told off for shaking the whole row by my other half, though that didn’t stop me. I still love the Beatles, even if they didn’t play my song, Michelle!