Let It Be – Review – Bradford Alhambra
By @Steve Crabtree, June 2019
It’s been hailed as ‘The Beatles reunion you never got to see’. And the celebration show of the fab-four’s hits Let It Be is in Bradford this week.
After a successful tour in Autumn 2018, an updated Let It Be is doing the rounds this spring. And as a fan of guitar music and nostalgia, I went along to the opening night at the Alhambra looking forward to a couple of hours of Beatles time.
As we took our seats, we had four 60’s style television sets showing topical events of the same decade, to get us in the mood.
And as the lights went down, we were at the London Palladium, ready for the Fab Four’s famous show at the theatre. The band were decked out in suits for the opener, and were straight in to ‘She Loves You’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and ‘All My Loving’.
Straight away the audience were in the mood. Mainly made up of a 50-plus crowd, people were singing along to the songs all over the theatre. Let It Be was making its mark. People were being taken back to their youth.
The Fab Four as they were referred to throughout the evening are made up of four talented musicians. Richard Jordan took the role of Lennon, and Emanuele Angeletti played McCartney. John Brosnan was between them as George Harrison, and behind everyone on his drum kit was Ringo Starr, portrayed brilliantly by Ben Cullingworth.
All of them played their own instruments, with McCartney and Starr not being too dis-similar to the real thing. In fact, Ringo looked more and more like Ringo as evening went on!
“Listening to the real thing”
Let It Be is a show full of hits from The Beatles, and we progressed through some of their most iconic times. The gig at the New York Yankee stadium, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road. We had the costume changes for each period too. A fun moment came when the TVs showed us a few adverts from the 60s. The Capstan cigarette ad particularly making the audience chuckle.
We got more favourites, with ‘Day Tripper’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘A Day In The Life’ being particular highlights of a 19 song first act. And sometimes, if you closed your eyes you could almost be listening to the real thing. These guys were great impersonators of the fab four, and it was evident that we were watching a very high calibre tribute act.
With that said, I think it would have been nice to have a story-line linking the tunes and the progression of The Beatles together. It’s the only thing the show lacks, and I think it’d take the production to a higher level. A light plotline would have been a nice addition. I think back to 20th Century Boy – the Marc Bolan tribute show where they’d got the balance between story and music just right.
But as far as churning out the favourites, Let It Be wasn’t letting anyone down.
“Who was the best Beatle?”
The second half of the show was dubbed the reunion. Taking place on John Lennon’s 40th birthday. Here, we had the band performing songs from their after-Beatles’ life. Lennon’s ‘Starting Over’ and a beautiful ‘Imagine’ stood out, as did ‘Band On The Run’ by McCartney. But ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ and ‘My Sweet Lord’ were my favourite songs of the night. (I was singing the latter all the way home). And that definitely sparked a ‘who was the best Beatle?’ debate after the show.
Act two was packed with another 19 songs, which included ‘Hey Jude’ and title track as an encore.
It’d been a very enjoyable show, and a trip down memory lane for many in the Alhambra. Tribute shows don’t normally do it for me, but it was well worth coming along for this one. I think everyone else agreed, with the cast receiving a deserved standing ovation at the end.