Live: Co-operative Hall, Middleton

This was The Beatles’ only concert in Middleton, Lancashire. It took place on the day their third EMI single, From Me To You was released in the UK.

The group performed for more than an hour to 300 screaming fans. Shortly after coming off the stage at the Co-operative Hall The Beatles drove back to Liverpool.

Here’s how the Middleton Guardian newspaper reported the event:

ON THURSDAY 11th April 1963, four Liverpool lads, all in their early 20s, brought a touch of Tin Pan alley stardust to Middleton.

For well over an hour in the Co-op Hall, Long Street, 300 screaming teenagers jived and twisted to the bouncing rhythm of beat ballads being performed by The Beatles.

The music was deafening and the record fans were keyed up to a fever pitch. Almost hysterical enthusiasm hit you in the face as you walked in, but promoter Barry Chaytow had taken great care in making sure that if his patrons did not get over-excited there were sufficient “bouncers” to take care of the trouble.

He could have saved himself a great deal of expense in that direction, because they were not needed. The teenagers were there to see and hear The Beatles and everything else became secondary.

The boys and girls certainly got their money’s worth. This group which turned professional almost as soon as it was formed two years ago has carved itself two unforgettable niches in the charts with Love Me Do and Please, Please Me. Though their earlier work was confined to backing other artists on the Continent, they have now earned a place in show business with their undeniable talent and unassuming manner.

Perhaps one of the reasons for their success is the fact that most of their work is completely original and they seem to have an almost inexhaustible supply of new material. For instance, their first LP just issued has on it eight numbers which have been written by members of the group.

The group is one tightly knit one. Drummer Ringo Starr joined in the August last year, but the others are original members. George Harrison, lead guitar, and Paul McCartney used to go to the same school and John Lennon is Paul’s next door neighbour.

The four Beatles came off the stage pouring in sweat. They were cheerful and cracking jokes with each other as though two years of one night stands was all in day’s work for them, which of course it was.

They ran the inevitable gauntlet of autograph hunters as they tried to wind down and get changed in time to get back to Liverpool for a well earned rest.

Inside the hall the teenagers were still going strong to the music of Shaun and Sum People. Out of their dramatic maroon suits piled in after it, got comfortable and passed round the cigarettes.

Less than 30 minutes after facing a crowd of perspiring fans The Beatles were still a group, but this time just another group of homeward bound travellers on the Liverpool road.

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