Live Review : The Sheffield Beatles Project. Sheffield 02 Academy 15/12/2018

Photo Credit Kevin Wells

A pure joy, egoless celebration of the Beatles most eclectic and arguably their best album.

I’d been looking forward to this for a good 6 month, and owned the album for a good 10+ years. For most of that time the white album has been my favourite.


Right from the full 30 piece band walking on stage, I knew we were in for a treat. from the first notes of back in the USSR with full orchestration to the simple two person version of blackbird featuring fluttering sounds as on the recorded version, it was clear that no stone was going to be left unturned. We were even treated to a what I thought was an impossible to achieve version of revolution 9 by the orchestra that was unlike the recording, highly enjoyable. Heater skelter shone bright with this full big band treatment and you could really see why it gets referred to as a precursor to heavy metal- what an absolute barnstormer!

Cigarette breaks for myself were strategically planned for the (in my opinion) more twee/poorer songs on the album, that just happen to be McCartney numbers (and the Harrison penned piggies) but still it was nice to hear the effort that they’d put in to learning every song to the smallest detail…. but if you’ve gotta smoke you’re gunna do it during honey pie over cry baby cry…

Lead vocals were split between 3 fellas and 1 young lady, with the young lady in question having the strongest voice in my opinion. It was nice to hear female vocals on personal favourites such as dear prudence and Julia of which the latter she was joined by around ten or more other ladies on backing vocals.

I know at some point in this I’m supposed to pick fault with something or someone, but I feel I’d be just doing it for the sake of it. The fact it wasn’t sold out baffles me.

It was very clear that every performer on that stage did it for the love, and enjoyed every minute of it. It was one of the most joyous, passionate and ego-less shows I’ve ever seen and I smiled from ear to ear through ever minute of it. Seeing songs like rocky raccoon and bungalow bill which are so tongue in cheek at there core, children’s songs performed so flawlessly was unreal.

Goodnight was simply wonderful and executed perfectly, but it didn’t end there. The band left the stage for a few minutes and came back on in Christmas hats to treat us to 3 more songs- the standalone single- lady Madonna and  a Christmas number one Lennon cover Happy Xmas (war is over) which was all nice  bonus, considering they already played 30 songs.

I’m gutted I’ve missed previous shows by this lot and am already looking forward to them showing us what they can do with Abbey Road next year.
Pure joy is how I’d describe this evening and everyone involved should be very proud indeed and let’s hope they keep going and going for years to come.

Photo Credit –  Kevin Wells

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