I FELT a bit sorry for the four guys up on stage in the first part of Let it Be at the Mayflower on Monday.
They kept trying to get the audience to clap and sway and join in, and it really wasn’t working.
But I don’t think it was lack of enjoyment – like me, they were just enraptured by the music and by the quality of the singing.
For a Beatles fan, getting to hear these songs live on stage is wonderful, but it’s also a bit nervewracking to start with.
I mean, you don’t want to sit through a couple of hours listening to people who aren’t up to the job murdering the songs you love, do you?
But these guys are a giant step up from your average tribute group. Ok, so James Fox as Paul McCartney doesn’t play left-handed guitar and doesn’t really look anything like McCartney, but the voice is what matters and that’s why you could forgive the guitar thing.
Any faults will really show up in songs like Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby and Blackbird, and Fox was hugely impressive – and once the audience were reassured they were soon showing their appreciation.
Equally as good was Reuven Gershon as John Lennon, and again the show didn’t shy away from the difficult numbers that would highlight any vocal deficiencies.
Ben Cullingworth and John Brosnan provided strong support and some rocking drum and guitar solos. They weren’t spot-on voicewise, but expecting an exact match for George and Ringo – whose voices are very distinctive – as well as for the two main singers is probably a bit much.
An evening that shouldn’t be missed by fans.
* Let It Be is at the Mayflower, Southampton until Saturday. Tickets
and information at mayflower.org.uk.