The Beatles In Gloucestershire [ Unicorn Records UC-160 ]
Sgt. Pepper Instrumental / She Loves You / Mark Lewisohn interview / Ain’t She Sweet / I Want To Hold Your Hand / From Me To You / All My Loving / I Saw Her Standing There / Long Tall Sally / It Won’t Be Long / Roll Over Beethoven / ‘Till There Was You / All My Loving / Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Twist And Shout / A Hard Days Night / Christmas Flexi / P.S. I Love You / Can’t Buy Me Love / Love Me Do / Interview 1.11.63 [ 56:10 ]
From the newly reconciled Unicorn Records comes another of their radio-documenteries-to-silver-disk productions. This time we focus on one of the regional radio broadcasts that would usually only reach the ears of the few local radio listeners within that select area or, if you were lucky, your Beatle friend would tape it off of the radio for you, stuff it in to a padded envelope and send it off with a pen pals letter with a quick written note about Paul’s latest album.
This sounds like one of those fan recordings. A light mono recording that has the hall marks of being recorded off of Medium Wave radio, caught to tape and then played a few times over through the years before resting within a box with the rest of your unlistened tapes.
It’s easy to forget though, living in Britain, that shows like this, usually broadcast on a weekend or on a public holiday, are quite the souvenir to Beatles fans around the world who were privy, with all intents and purposes, to the second or even third wave of Beatlemania once the fabs had already broken their roughshod image, tuned up and glossed over the imperfections on stage ( Although, as we’re generally reminded, once they stepped out on stage you wouldn’t hear a thing. ) so it’s here that we get to marvel at the people that were there reminiscing at how simple life was back then, the lengths that they would go to to meet the Beatles, the tricks they turned to apease fans who would beg, steal or borrow a signature from the fabs and the onslaught of screams that would greet the band as they took to the stage all told with regional accents and quaint colloquialisms.
All this is bedded by the usual assortment of Beatles music either played by the band or – in the case of the Sgt. Pepper instrumental at the beginning – via a cover version.
The bonus addition to this set is the interview plus music clips from Cheltenham on the 1st of November, 1963. The audio seems to be sourced from the YouTube promo from 2010 which features a brief interview of the Fabs backstage at Cheltenham’s Odeon along with snippets of the Beatles playing snatches of “Boys”, “‘Till There Was You”, “From Me To You”, “Money” and “Twist And Shout” from the same concert.
While it’s nice to hear these rare clips, the few seconds that we’re afforded are tantalizingly annoying as the full concert or at least more of it must reside somewhere in someone’s collection or companies archives.
The main draw for this set in the end is hearing people reveal their first hand memories of meeting the band, seeing the band or just what they remember of the occasion when the Beatles came to town. One hopes that the money from the sale of this set are put to unearthing more unheard goodies from the tight collectors circles of the Beatles and bringing back Unicorns high standing in the Beatleg world.