The Beatles’ only appearance at the Odeon Cinema on Manchester’s Oxford Street was the twelfth date of the group’s UK tour with Roy Orbison.
The concert was subsequently reviewed in the Daily Express by Derek Taylor, the newspaper’s northern England showbusiness correspondent. Although his editors expected a negative review of what they considered to be a teenage fad, Taylor found The Beatles enchanting.
Measuring it word by word, let me make a solemn declaration that because of the city of Liverpool, popular music, after years of turmoil and unspeakable rubbish, has become healthy and gay and good again.
The Liverpool Sound came to Manchester last night, and I thought it was magnificent… Indecipherable, meaningless nonsense, of course, but as beneficial and invigorating as a week on a beach at the pierhead overlooking the Mersey.
The spectacle of these fresh, cheeky, sharp, young entertainers in apposition to the shiny-eyed teenage idolaters is as good as a rejuvenating drug for the jaded adult.
I suppose there is not – yet – a first-class musician among them. Last night’s audience of screamers gave the ear little chance of picking up two consecutive notes. And record companies can work wonders in the studios. So how can you tell whether there is any quality?
I suppose also that in another 12 months another sound will have been fed to the teenagers. But in the meantime, The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers – who, with their first record arrived at No. 1 on the hit parade – were a fair-sized sensation.
Their stage manner has little polish but limitless energy, and they have in abundance the fundamental rough good humour of their native city.
It was difficult to believe that the reception they had when they closed the first half of a generous bill would be exceeded by the noise accorded to The Beatles.
One underestimates the teenage audience who gear their enthusiasm in ratio to the status of a star. It was really The Beatles we had gone to see.
When the no-lapelled, shiny black suits and thick black Roman hair-cuts of the stars appeared to a cascade of outrageous praise from the compere, the cinema went wild.
Nobody could hear themselves trying to think. The act was largely drowned, but it didn’t matter at all.
It was marvellous, meaningless impertinent, exhilarating stuff.
Daily Express, 31 May 1963
Taylor subsequently developed a close friendship with The Beatles and their management. He later became Brian Epstein’s personal assistant and ghostwriter of his autobiography, was The Beatles’ press officer during their US tour in 1964, and in 1968 was made press officer for Apple Corps.
Also on this day...
- 2018: Limited edition Yellow Submarine picture disc single to be released
- 2013: Paul McCartney live at BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
- 2012: Ringo Starr’s childhood home is saved from demolition
- 1969: UK single release: The Ballad Of John And Yoko
- 1968: Recording: Revolution 1
- 1966: US single release: Paperback Writer
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Jacaranda Coffee Bar, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.