Vivienne Kennedy reviews Let It Be, playing at Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 18th June
The Beatles played their last live UK gig, at the Empire Pool (later known as Wembley Arena), almost a year before I was born and by the time I’d reached the age of three they had broken up for good. But their catalogue of songs must surely count among the greatest of musical legacies and today’s 20-somethings (two of whom were sat next to me last night) are as likely to know all the words as their counterparts of almost 50 years ago.
Let It Be takes the audience on a whistle-stop tour of the band’s greatest hits, taking in venues such as Liverpool’s Cavern Club, the London Palladium (for a Royal Variety performance no less) and New York’s Shea Stadium. It’s a light, easy watch, with spectacularly colourful lighting, including some fantastic effects for their Sgt. Pepper period.
Between songs there is a little banter between the musicians when a few well known quotes and references are thrown into the mix, usually raising a laugh. There are two large TV screens above each side of the stage, showing vintage film clips, live footage of the show and even a commercial break with adverts for a popular 1960s brand of shampoo and, of course, cigarettes – how strange it seems now that they were once freely advertised!
The band, last night comprising Reuven Gershon (John), Emanuele Angeletti (Paul), Paul Mannion (George) and Luke Roberts (Ringo), encouraged audience participation from the get go – inviting us to clap, sing along, and regularly get up to dance. We were also given permission at the start of the show to take photos and videos, as long as we didn’t use flash and shared the results on social media – it felt strange in a theatre setting, but it added to the live concert feel.
It’s very difficult to pick a favourite moment, The Beatles’ songs span such a wide variety from the pure pop of She Loves You to the more moody A Day in the Life and While My Guitar Gently Weeps (which I believe was my +1’s highlight). Ticket to Ride, All My Loving, Here Comes The Sun, Hey Jude and the title track (I can’t miss that one out) would all be up there.
So, if you want a good night out this week, one that requires no deep thinking whatsoever, get yourself along to the Hippodrome Box Office because Let It Be provides just that.
For further information visit www.atgtickets.com
Photo: David Munn Photography