herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

We'll get by with a little help from our beatles friends

A cursory glance at a newspaper will confirm that times are dark indeed and the mood of the nation is in sore need of lightening. Over the past week the Guardian has been giving away recipe cards for 'comfort food'. If there is such a thing as 'comfort music' then the spirit of The Beatles seems to have been hovering about in the air since the start of the year.

The Ronan Collins Show, arguably the best music programme on Irish radio for many years now, appears to have tapped into some unspoken mood since the start of the year, and in the past week alone I've heard double-plays (Ronan operates on the principle that the only thing better than a Beatles' song is two Beatles' songs) including B-sides This Boy and Yes it Is, the psychedelic wig-out Baby You're a Rich Man followed by She's Leaving Home and a cracking George Harrison brace of Taxman and If I Needed Someone. Lovely stuff.

And it's not just on the radio that the Fab Four are lifting our spirits. This Saturday Scottish band Revolver bring their tribute act to the Workman's Club, the musical aspect also being accompanied by a short play, Lennon vs McCartney, while over in the Tivoli the musical Get Back -- the Story of the Beatles runs until the middle of next month.

Meanwhile, why not tune in to BBC4 tonight for How the Brits Rocked America, a look at the wave of UK acts who stormed the States in the early '60s, which happens to be followed by an hour-long film about The Beatles' sensational first US tour in 1964.

Ah yes, in these bleak times people crave comfort and certainty, and what could be more certain and comforting than the music of the greatest band of all time.

>George Byrne

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