Monday 14 February 2011

It was fifty years ago today

It's probably an age thing, but I that find going to gigs these days can be very traumatic; if it's not some f**kwits behind me talking throughout it'll be some clown in front of me with a camera phone who'd rather watch the entire gig through a viewfinder (why exactly, to watch it virtually in their bedroom on a computer screen when they get home?) than watch it unfold live in what I still like to call real life.

Until the advent of this micro technology it was a rare sight indeed to see anyone filming bands on stage. Imagine, then, the stir this piece of footage caused when it was unearthed at the end of the last century; it might only be a few seconds of silent 8mm cine film (shot on February 14 1961 at The Casanova Club in Liverpool) - but it's pretty amazing nonetheless. Then again it is The Beatles and it's in colour. It was only five days earlier they'd played The Cavern for the first time.

This is the oldest known live footage of the Fabs, though some Beatles academics are still undecided if it was from Valentine's night 1961 or February 10 1962 when they tore up the Church Hall in Birkenhead.


  1. 50 years ago and the world was the better for it and never ever the same again.

    As for agitation at gigs, it is an age thing, I too feel it - even going to the cinema affects me these days!

  2. Isn't it heartbreaking when a huge pleasure that's been part of your life forever starts to feel soured? I know LOADS of people who are grieving the decline of Basic Gig Etiquette - Marc Riley is always bemoaning it on his Six Music show - and yet the idiots still come, with their useless camera phones and their braying voices and their totally unwelcome opinions. I just wasn't made for these times.

  3. Our outing to John Martyn at the Cambridge Corn Exchange a few years back was almoust soured by some old fashioned anono-numpty, singing out of tune and out time, behind us. Luckily the git toed off before someone rung has sodding neck..

    Heard a great JM (that's Martyn BTW) gig story last week, where a late-comer parks up in the front row with his crisps and pint placed on the stage, then munches and gulps through the tune. A few moments in Martyn asks - 'can I have sip?' and pours the pint over the crisps saying 'that'll keep the fuckers quiet'

    Fab footage - they just look so young..

  4. Cracking old style boozer The Grapes on Matthew St where grainy B/W piccy was snapped

  5. This is a very interesting site, have already spent quite a bit of time reading stuff. Thanks