Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The British Invasion: Interview With The Cavern Club Beatles

2014 is the 50 year anniversary of when The Beatles first took America by storm. The Cavern Club, Liverpool sent their house Beatle band to re-enact the scene, exactly 50 years later to the day. Of course they needed some new Beatle Boots for that - and they knew where to come! We caught up with Paul Jones, who plays George in The Cavern Club Beatles for a quick chat.

Up&Atom - How did you become - not just a Beatle - but a Cavern Club Beatle?

Paul Jones - Me and some friends started a band in high school, when I was 14, and we decided we’d learn some Beatles songs. The next year, when I was 15 years old, we entered ITV’s ‘Stars In Their Eyes Kids’ and we were successful! So through The Beatles I (very early in life) entered the world of music and performing! From there it just grew from strength to strength to strength. I spent about 4 years playing all over the world on a cruise ship as a ‘John’, then after a while I wanted to come back home. The Cavern Club were auditioning for a ‘George’, so I learned a few songs and went for it and got the gig! This was about 2 years ago, and since then the band is the best thing I’ve been a part of. We’re all great friends who have a good laugh daily, but more to the point everyone is very good at their jobs and has a genuine love for performing, Liverpool as a city and The Beatles.

U&A - You recently went to the States to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles American invasion. What was that like?

PJ - Our trip to the USA was amazing. From the moment we arrived at Heathrow on the morning of the flight it was non-stop interviews, media and all sorts of attention! We even spent the whole flight in costume, which the air hostess’ loved! Arriving in the same terminal 50 years later to screaming fans and camera flashes was incredible, and what’s more frightening is what we experienced wasn’t even 1/100th of what The Beatles did! It was humbling because everyone was there to celebrate and just marvel at what The Beatles were. The audience and fans were having just as much fun as we were experiencing the ‘hype’ around us.

The performances were some of the most important I have ever has the privilege to be part of. Having your name in Times Square was so special and knowing you were on the same stage, playing the same songs, in the same clothes as they did was just surreal. Cavern City Tours who arranged it all were fantastic. We stayed in a suite in The Plaza, overlooking Central Park. We travelled in limousines, played iconic venues like The Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square (formally The Paramount Theatre), The Deaville Hotel (where the Miami episode of The Ed Sullivan Show was recorded) as well as an open air beach gig! Also supporting us every step of the was was Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister. We would be driving around Miami with her telling us stories about John - very surreal! I’m sure any tribute band will tell you that attention to detail is paramount, and having John’s sister describe you as ‘the best Beatles tribute band’ she’s ever seen is just amazing, and only makes you want to try new things and develop the show.

Looking back, it couldn’t have gone any better. We loved the excitement when we were there, but now a few weeks have passed and we’ve seen all the coverage I think we’ve all realised how lucky and fortunate we were to be part of such an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime anniversary!

U&A - What’s been your most memorable moment as a Cavern Beatle?

PJ - America was such an amazing trip. Me, Tony Coburn [who plays Paul in The Cavern Club Beatles] and Paul Laverick (our keyboard player) all got our first tattoos in South Beach, Miami at 4am to remember the occasion!

U&A - Which Beatles era is your favourite to perform?

PJ - The best section of the show for me is the Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour section. This reflects the band circa 1967, when they were experimenting a lot in the studio with effects, orchestration, arrangements, lyrics, etc. This is why it’s so good to play live, because essentially some of it is difficult and challenging. The early stuff is great and lively, real rock n roll, but the Pepper stuff is intricate and really takes some time getting right, so when it works it’s great and very rewarding!

Catch The Cavern Club Beatles at The Cavern Club, Liverpool every Saturday night at 8.00pm
and find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCavernClubBeatles

This interview was originally printed in Up&Atom magazine, Issue 3 (May 2014). 
Images used by permission, © The Cavern Club Beatles & The Cavern Club, Liverpool. 
Big thanks to The Cavern Club Beatles and Nick Robinson from The Cavern Club, Liverpool. 

Find Chelsea Beatle Boots here -
The boots worn by The Cavern Club Beatles are Madcap England OutlawCasbah and Lightfoot Boots and Delicious Junction Beatle Boots.