Prior to the opening of The Beatles Christmas Show at the Astoria in Finsbury Park London, on 24 December 1963, there were two preview concerts held in the north of England. The first was at Bradford’s Gaumont Cinema, with the second taking place the following evening at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre.
The show was performed as a straightforward concert, without the costumes, stage sets or comedy sketches that would be seen in London. The other acts at all the Christmas Shows were, in order of appearance, The Barron Knights, Tommy Quickly, The Fourmost, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, and Rolf Harris.
The Beatles performed nine songs: ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘This Boy’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Till There Was You’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.
The Gaumont Cinema in Bradford was a significant venue for The Beatles. In addition to performing this preview, they also opened their first UK tour there in February 1963 there, and started their 1964 British Tour in October 1964.
Also on this day...
- 2020: Peter Jackson releases ‘sneak peek’ at documentary The Beatles: Get Back
- 2009: Casting announced for Backbeat stage show
- 2009: Paul McCartney hints at London concert residency
- 1969: Mixing, editing: Get Back album
- 1966: Recording, mixing: When I’m Sixty-Four, Strawberry Fields Forever
- 1964: Rehearsal: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.