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Beatlemania comes to Bloomington



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Craig McGown, portraying George Harrison, plays the guitar with The Mersey Beatles on Oct. 12 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The band is from Liverpool, England, and it has played around the world.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Music lovers who miss The Beatles got a chance to relive the past Friday night at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. 

Carrying out a “British invasion” of its own, The Mersey Beatles: Four Lads from Liverpool, England performed “50 Years of Revolution – White Album Wonders Plus Full Set of Greatest Hits.” 

The Liverpool-born tribute group performed 33 songs from The Beatles, an iconic British music group in the 1960s. The original Beatles went from playing teenage audiences in Liverpool venues to becoming an international sensation. 

Portraying the original cast members, the Mersey Beatles website lists Mark Bloor as John Lennon, Steven Howard as Paul McCartney, Craig McGown as George Harrison, and Brian Ambrose as Ringo Starr. Tony Cook accompanied on the keyboard. 

The show began with a black and white film anchored by a Liverpool-native announcer. The announcer introduced the rest of the short film, which detailed the how intricately The Beatles are tied to Britain’s cultural heritage. 

Dave Jones, co-owner of Liverpool's Cavern Club, where the original The Beatles got their start, said in the video The Beatles were the most influential music of the 20th century. 

“The Beatles are never going to do it again,” Jones said. “It’s impossible.”

The footage cut to The Mersey Beatles performing to cheering audiences at the Cavern Club. 

The Mersey Beatles drew many of its numbers from “The White Album,” released in 1968. Additional songs came from other albums or feature films such as “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and “Yellow Submarine.”

The Mersey Beatles opened with “Back in the USSR” and followed with songs including “Glass Onion” and the Paul McCartney solo “Blackbird.” 

The group encouraged the audience to get up and dance or sing along to songs such as “Yellow Submarine" and “Hey Jude."

The songs were accompanied by slides with pop-art or film clips. For example, clips from cowboy films accompanied the song “Rocky Raccoon.” 

The second act included tunes such as “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Nowhere Man,” “Ticket to Ride,” “Twist and Shout," “Help!” and the Paul McCartney solo “Yesterday." After leaving the stage a first time, they returned for an encore. 

The performers were dressed in 1960s replica costumes and played on replica guitars and sported '60s hair mops styled after The Beatles. 


Mark Bloor, portraying John Lennon, performs with The Mersey Beatles on Oct. 12 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos


Joseph Pong, a senior majoring in computer science who said he is taking a class on The Beatles from the Jacobs School of Music, said they sounded like the original Beatles.

“The man who sings like John sounds a lot like John on the record,” he said. 

For the first act, the band dressed as The Beatles in the late '60s. For the beginning of the second act, they dressed in black vests and sported shorter hair, which evoked an early '60s aesthetic. Finally, the changed into mid '60s dress. 

Since 1999, the Mersey Beatles have performed hits from The Beatles to audiences in 20 countries and is currently on a world tour.

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