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The Beatles live: NME Poll-Winners’ show – their final UK concert

Although they famously performed on the rooftop of Apple in January 1969, 1 May 1966 was The Beatles’ final scheduled live appearance in Britain.

It was their fourth appearance at the New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert, which took place at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London. The Beatles performed before an audience of 10,000.

The Beatles at the NME Poll-Winners' show, 1 May 1966

The group were on a bill which also included The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman’s Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Overlanders, The Alan Price Set, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Sounds Incorporated, Dusty Springfield, Crispian St Peters, The Walker Brothers, The Who, The Yardbirds, and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. The comperes were Peter Murray and Jimmy Savile.

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The Beatles played a 15-minute set which included five songs: ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Day Tripper’, ‘If I Needed Someone’, and ‘I’m Down’.

Although ABC TV was filming the concert, Brian Epstein failed to reach an agreement over terms, so the cameras were turned off while The Beatles performed. The group were, however, filmed receiving their poll awards.

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Wings performed at the Empire Pool on 19, 20, and 21 October 1976, and at the renamed Wembley Arena on 7, 8, 9, and 10 December 1979. Paul McCartney performed solo concerts there on 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, and 26 January 1990.

Last updated: 24 January 2024
Recording, mixing: Eleanor Rigby, I'm Only Sleeping
Radio: Saturday Club, Pop Profile
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