The Beatles live: Astoria Ballroom, Oldham

The day after The Beatles recorded 10 of the songs that would appear on their debut album Please Please Me, they were back on the road with a performance in Oldham, Lancashire.

John Lennon had all but destroyed his voice singing ‘Twist And Shout’ in the studio; he was also still suffering from a heavy cold. Nonetheless, he took to the stage at the Astoria Ballroom. Fortunately Paul McCartney and George Harrison were able to take on the bulk of the singing, and the screams from an enthusiastic audience helped mask any deficiencies.

My voice wasn’t the same for a long time after; every time I swallowed, it was like sandpaper.
John Lennon, 1976

This was The Beatles’ only appearance in Oldham, Lancashire – now part of the Greater Manchester local authority. The Astoria Ballroom was situated on King Street and opened in December 1908. It had a stage 45 feet wide, and seated a total of 1,842 people.

The building closed as a cinema in 1961 and was subsequently used variously as a concert hall, bowling alley and nightclub.

Last updated: 25 January 2024
Recording: Please Please Me album
The Beatles live: Majestic Ballroom, Hull
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