Live: Odeon Cinema, Romford

6.00pm, Sunday 16 June 1963 (50 years ago)

This was the last of six ‘Mersey Beat Showcase’ concerts, a format devised by Brian Epstein which consisted of one-off shows featuring his stable of artists. The first took place on 7 March 1963.

Also appearing at Romford’s Odeon Cinema were Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, The Vikings with Michael London, and Gerry and the Pacemakers. The compere was Vic Sutcliffe.

Poster for The Beatles at the Odeon, Romford, 16 June 1963

The line-up was something of a coup for pop fans, with The Beatles, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, and Gerry and the Pacemakers occupying the top three places in the singles charts that week.

Unlike the others Mersey Beat Showcase nights, this was promoted by John Smith rather than NEMS Enterprises. Additionally, five further dates in the series, planned for 17-20 and 23 June, were abandoned by Epstein.

3 Responses to “Live: Odeon Cinema, Romford”

  1. MT

    I saw the Beatles with a school friend at this Romford concert when I was 15. The crowds were huge.

    I met a girl of similar age who said she had been backstage to meet the Beatles before and if I stuck with her she would get me in as well. Unfortunately, it proved impossible to stay close to her because of the surging crowds. She was gorgeous in the sixties way: long blonde hair, lots of eye make-up and pale lips, wearing knee-length white socks, so I could imagine that she was probably allowed backstage. I was pressed up against the Beatles car at one stage and noticed how pale they all looked, and neat in their suits.

    Inside the theatre you could not hear a note because of all the screaming; the noise was incredible and high-pitched. My friend and I were in the front circle so had pretty good seats. I remember screaming but thinking that I’d prefer to hear the music. A wonderful experience and unbelievably exciting at the time, and the Beatles looked as though they enjoyed it too.

    I’d seen the Beatles about a month earlier in Ipswich and the contrast between the audiences could not have been greater. The Ipswich audience was less fashionable (in those days distance from London mattered as far as fashion was concerned; we only had Ready Steady Go! and Cathy McGowan on TV to check out the new styles & it was not easy to buy anything really fashionable in the sticks at that time) and they actually listened to the music!

    Reply
  2. Bob Pullen

    Great could’nt believe it when I found this story,what you probably do’nt know is that a large part of the audience was underpriveliged kids including myself, I went to the Concert Free Of Charge, I was living in a childrens home at Harold Hill Gallows Corner near the Plough Hotel & there were quite a number of us orphans at the concert, cos i was a bit younger than you only 13 but still remember it well. My sister lives with her Family in Romford & i ca’nt wait to tell her what i found.
    As you get older (60 now) the songs are what bring back the memories thank you.

    Reply

Leave a reply