Happy 60th Birthday The Cavern Club: 18 facts you never knew about The Beatles spiritual home

On this day in 1957, the most famous music club in the world opened its doors: Liverpool’s Cavern Club.

The Cavern Club Christopher Brown Flickr

The Cavern Club by Christopher Brown on Flickr

Want to impress your Liverpudlian friends? Here are all the things you need to know:

Now a major tourist attraction, it’s located in a warehouse cellar at number 10 Mathew Street, in the heart of the city centre near the River Mersey, local theatres, museums and shopping centres.

It was originally a jazz club, hosting Ronnie Scott and Acker Bilk in its early days.

The club has closed down, remodelled and re-opened on several occasions, and was owned at one time by former Liverpool FC hardman Tommy Smith.

Closing down in February 1966, the club was officially opened again by then Prime Minister Harold Wilson in July the same year.

Its original owner, Alan Sytner, named the club after a Paris jazz club, Le Caveau De La Huchette, hoping to make it the biggest jazz club outside of London.

The first jazz festival held in Liverpool and featuring many of Britain’s top acts took place at the Cavern Club on January 16, 1960.

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The Cavern Club Wall – Ian Ransley on Flickr

The club is home to 25 resident artists, from The Cavern Club Beatles tribute band – brought together following comprehensive auditions to find those who captured the look and sound of the four Liverpool lads – to The Amazing Kappa Band, who are somehow an eclectic mix of Led Zeppelin, Ravel, Dolly Parton and more!

A statue of former club hat-check girl  Cilla Black is being unveiled outside the club today, a present to the city from her family.

The club offers Rock School Tuition, with expert tutors in bass guitar, guitar, piano/keyboard and drums.

In 1983, the Strawberry Fields Children’s home benefitted financially following the sale of 5000 bricks from the original cellar area of the club.

Hosted by the club, Liverpool’s first Mathew Street Festival took place on August 28, 1983 until being replaced by the Liverpool International Music Festival in 2013.

Books about the club include three by Spencer Leigh, BBC Radio Merseyside presenter: ‘Twist and Shout! – Merseybeat, the Cavern, the Star-Club and the Beatles’, ‘The Cavern – The Most Famous Club in the World’ and ‘The Cavern Club: The Rise of the Beatles and Merseybeat’ and one by former Liverpool FC player and coach Phil Thompson, called ‘The Best of Cellars’.

American actor Billy Bob Thornton appeared at the club in 2002 and said: “It’s the dream of my life to be here in Liverpool and playing the Cavern because this music got me through my childhood.”

The artist for the original club posters and signage, Tony Booth, has been commissioned to produce the 60th anniversary artwork which will feature all the artists ever to appear at the club.

In July 2006, American golfer John Daly took to the stage and performed during the launch of his autobiography.

The Cavern Club by Ronald Saunders on Flickr Jaye Nolan Freelance Writer

The Cavern Club by Ronald Saunders on Flickr

The first Beatle to play at the club is rumoured to be Ringo Starr, who was apparently a member of the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group when they appeared there in July 1957.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney debuted at the club a few months apart but both with The Quarrymen, John in August 1957, and Paul in January 1958, after joining The Quarrymen in October 1957.

The first performance at the club by The Beatles was on February 9, 1961. Brian Epstein saw them in November that year and subsequently took over their management. The last of their 292 performances at the club was on August 1, 1963.

Do you have any special memories from the Cavern Club? Let me know in the comments.

Photo Credits: Christopher BrownIan Ransley, Ronald Saunders

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Back to the 60’s

Olivier Award winning show, Sunny Afternoon, based on the story of The Kinks, is showing at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre this week.

I was delighted to review the show for WOW magazine, which you can read here, and it reminded me of a lovely chat I had with a local singer, Tony Ellingham.

Tony fronts of a swing band called 5intheBar, who regularly gig to raise money for the Parkinson’s disease charity. The last one raised £550, as they performed to a packed house. Their next charity performance is March 4.

Under the stage name of Dorian Gray, Tony had a hit song in the 60s, which is still requested today – enjoy hearing all about that, and more, from the man himself.

Happy Tunesday: The Voice – Blind Auditions

The teams are complete!

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The blind auditions came to and end last weekend, with Will’s tactic of holding out to the end backfiring spectacularly, leaving him with a Tina Turner impressionist to complete his team.

Still, we know Will is a genius, so once he gets Andrew back to basics, he may well uncover something. Or, he could just sacrifice him in the battles, and put him up against his favourite. We wait and see – hopefully it’s the former.

There were some strange choices made, with excellent vocalists failing to get through, while others who sounded decidedly dodgy in places making it. Brooklyn (Team Will), for example, began well enough with the rapping, but once she began to sing, you actually saw Tom wince.

There was a real problem with singers who had nice tone but whose diction was completely appalling. So many on each team – all the coaches are guilty. If they can sort them out, I’ll probably end up with too many favourites. Nerves obviously played a part and the coaches’ experience no doubt helps them to see past that. (There has to be some excuse.)

Team Scatty as it stands then, is:

Karl Loxley (Team Will) Classical Reflection; Emmanuel Nwamadi; Hannah Wildes; Stevie McCrorie (Team Ricky) Mitch Miller; The Mac Bros; (Team Rita) Claudia Rose; Daniel Duke; Lara Lee; Sharon Murphy; Stephanie Webber (Team Tom).

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I am feeling a bit biased toward Hannah Wildes, since she is from my part of Medway and was pretty superior to a lot of what I heard. Overall though, I’m not as impressed this year as I was in previous years.

Bring on the Battles!

Images courtesy BBC

 

Sunday Slackers

The internet of fascinating things with which to hit the Sunday slow-way …

fairy-tales-624980_640Animals: Pets who could’ve sworn you just said “Treats!”

Photography: Fairytale art attack

Travel: The most breathtaking small towns and villages in the world

Life: Things creative people do differently – such as day-dreaming

puppyBear like puppies: *Warning* Serious heart melting may occur

For writers: The surprising reading level of top writers

Dance: Ballet and Irish blues gospel, who knew?

Perfect Sunday Slacker material: Pointless stuff

spirit-394324_640Music: The awesome Bobby McFerrin, his audience, Bach and Gounod. His voice is just incredible 

Supernatural: Do you believe in ghosts? Maybe after seeing these you will

Images by Pixabay: Fairy Tale; PuppyGhost

 

Sunday Slackers

The internet of interesting things to enjoy on the Sunday slow-way … help yourself to a biscuit.

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Culture: Douglas Adams on what it is to be English

Art: Even if you don’t believe in all that astrology stuff, you’ll want to check yours out!

Life: An incredibly inspiring story 

Death: All men (and women) must die. But what about after? I want to be a tree …

Writing: How to write a screenplay that sells itself

Music: Brilliant one-man cover version of Uptown Funk

Dance: I didn’t watch Britain’s Got Talent last year – I came across Yanis Marshall by accident this week and I LOVE this. Much better in a studio than on the BGT stage.

Photography: Fascinating old photos, some odd, some poignant

Travel: You can tell me how safe it is till the sun rises in the west – I still won’t like it. And I’m not sure the title of this app won’t be hijacked by a p0rn director.

Skill: Awesome arrows – do not try at home!

Image: Pixabay

Happy Tunesday: Delta of the Damned

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Bands from across Medway, Kent and beyond are coming together to show that Medway is not a UKIP breeding ground.

Friday will see the beginning of a four day music festival supporting diversity, as the local branch of Rock Against UKIP brings together over 40 bands of mixed genre. The event is designed to raise awareness and prevent voter apathy, following the Rochester by election in November, when Tory defector Mark Reckless claimed the seat for Nigel Farage’s party.

Co-organisers Abi Zeiring and Aiden Hehir hope the festival will clear the misconception that Medway largely supports UKIP, and galvanize action for the forthcoming general election.

The event will take place in Poco Loco and the line up is as follows:

Friday, January 23rd from 7.30pm (not in running order):
Black Light Brigade; Bear vs Manero; Broken Banjo; Frau Pouch; KILL RPNZL; Punching Swans; The Shagmonroes; UpCDownC

Saturday, January 24th from 6pm:
3D; Allfather; Crybaby Special; DIYOA; Dusty Awe; Luna Lacuna; Mean n my Lady; Sleep Society; Sleight; Spinner; Tiny Ghost; Tim Holehouse; Unknown Report

Sunday, January 25th from 2pm
Anaelle Berlier; Deanos Hose; Dul Fin Wah!; Eleusia; Funky Mothers; Manic and the Madkats; The Objectors; Wolfe Sunday; more TBC

Friday, January 30th from 7pm:
Apothocary; Armour King; Black Plastic; Brittunculi; Eight Days from Sunday; Haeusser and the Errorists; Inverted Scrotum; Skat Injector; Vargr I Veum

Please note, musicians are a rowdy and liberal lot by and large, and the venue is a public house – the events taking place there in no way compromises their neutrality.

To contact the organisers, visit their Facebook event page.