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The Beatles live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)

On this day The Beatles’ 107th evening show at the Cavern Club took place. It was also the launch night for their first EMI single ‘Love Me Do’.

Also on the bill were The Swinging Blue Genes, The Red River Jazzmen, and Ian and the Zodiacs. Overall this was The Beatles’ 245th appearance at the underground Mathew Street venue, including their lunchtime shows.

That would be the first time I heard The Beatles play Love Me Do. It wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll, and it sounded quite skiffley to me. I know that EMI had wanted Paul McCartney to play a string bass on it at first and Paul had a word with Les Braid about playing a string bass. Paul said, ‘How do you do it because there are no frets on a string bass?’ Les showed him how to get the octave with his left hand, and the two of them were huddled around the bass working it out. I think they did try it with a double bass but it wasn’t released.
Ray Ennis, singer, Swinging Blue Jeans
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh

The Swinging Blue Genes had recently returned to Liverpool from Germany, where they had played a residency in Hamburg. Their jazz leanings had largely vanished, replaced by a new-found love of rock ‘n’ roll. They later changed their name to The Swinging Blue Jeans.

Our fans were dumbfounded at first and didn’t like what we were doing at all, but the whole scene had changed in the month we were away. Jazz had almost vanished from the Cavern and we knew that we were right to continue with rock ‘n’ roll. Our banjo player, Paul Moss, left but that didn’t matter as he wanted to be a policeman. I can remember Ray McFall putting on Paul’s sweater and getting up with us for a song.
Ray Ennis
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh

The precise number of The Beatles’ Cavern performances is not known, although they played at least 155 lunchtime and 125 evening shows between 9 February 1961 and 3 August 1963.

Last updated: 25 January 2024
The Beatles live: Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight
Radio: The Friday Spectacular
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