Liverpool has been home to many great musical artists over the years, giving us some of the best bands and singers the UK has ever seen and many of which have made musical history, dating back to a time known as the Merseybeat era, the late 50s and early 60s where Liverpool was the place to be for some of the UK's most talented singers and song writers. The Cavern Club is famed for being the place where Cilla Black and many more artists made their debuts and of course, Liverpool was where one of the UK's biggest bands and one of my personal favourites was born, The Beatles. Today, the Liverpool music scene is highly celebrated from the statues across the city remembering the great artists that once walked those streets to the live music played daily at the Cavern Club, where wannabe singers have their chance to shine and walk in the same footsteps as their idols and where people visit to relive some of the songs of what many believe was the greatest era of music.
A few weeks ago my husband and I went to Liverpool for the weekend and spent a few days looking into Liverpool's musical history - starting with watching the new Beatles statue being launched on St Georges dock, followed by a 'Magical Mystery Tour' of Liverpool and then a night at the Cavern club singing and dancing to the 'Cavern Club Beatles', one of the best UK Beatles tribute acts.
I have been to Liverpool several times before this visit, but only briefly and every time I have been there I've always been intrigued when the 'Magical Mystery Tour' drove past. The Magical Mystery Tour is a two hour Beatles tour of Liverpool, stopping by the childhood homes of all four Beatles, the schools where they grew up and visiting some of the iconic places the Beatles sung about such as 'Penny Lane' and 'Strawberry Fields'. The coach has a small capacity meaning that tours are intimate and there's a tour guide that tells you all about the Beatles history and answers all your questions along the way. While you take in the view and listen to the commentary, there's also Beatles music playing in the background to immerse you fully into 'Beatlemania'. The tickets are £16.95 and if you love the band like me and have two hours to spare, this is the ultimate ride for any Beatles fan.
During the tour there's a chance to get off the bus at four different locations and the first one is 'Penny Lane'. Penny Lane is one of my favourite Beatles songs and seeing the iconic sign right in front of me made me all giddy and childlike. The Penny Lane area today is still much like the song, there's a corner bank, 'the shelter in the middle of the roundabout' and there's still the barber shop what they originally wrote about, but over the years it has changed it's name and appearance.
Our next stop was Strawberry Fields, yet again another place that got me feeling all excited. The Strawberry fields stop is a giant red gate with strawberry detailing and the name Strawberry Fields spray painted against it. Strawberry Fields was one of the places John Lennon loved to play and visit when he was younger, but his aunt thought the area was too rough. The term 'nothing to get hung about' was what John used to say to his auntie, meaning there's nothing to worry about down at Strawberry Fields.
The final stop on the tour was the childhood home of Paul McCartney, the household where a lot of the early Beatles songs were written and where the band spent a lot of their time. The house today has been restored to how it would have looked when the Paul lived there all those years ago and at certain times of the year, the house is open for public viewing.
The day after our tour, my husband and I continued the Beatles theme by heading to the Cavern Club to see the resident Beatles tribute act. To the right of the Cavern Club entrance is a plaque and a wall covered in names of the artists who once played at the Cavern Club. These range from The Beatles to The Who, Thin Lizzy to Rod Stewart and many more. In recent years Adele has played at the Cavern Club and many new artists.
The Cavern club as we know it today isn't the original Cavern Club, the original building was at the opposite side of the road and closed down in 1973 due to construction work on the MerseyRail. In 1984 the Cavern Club we now know re-opened and was rebuilt using many of the original bricks to give the building a feeling of authenticity and to replicate how the Cavern Club would have looked in its heyday.
The Cavern Club Beatles is made up of four Liverpool based musicians who have worked hard to replicate the look, sound and feel of the Beatles. The band was formed in 2011 and have many accolades from touring the world as well as featuring on London's West End and on Broadway. In 2014, the band celebrated the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles by appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. The Cavern Club Beatles play regularly at the Cavern Club in the Cavern Club Live Lounge and play many of the great Beatles hits as well as one or two hidden gems. Tickets are approximately £20 and sell out fast, so make sure to book in advance. Both my husband and I had a fantastic night and haven't stopped talking about the band since we saw them. It was like going back in time and seeing the Beatles before us, they were faultless and fun and it was a great evening to end the most perfect weekend in Liverpool.
Are you a fan of The Beatles?