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The John Lennon,The Beatles, Wings, Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr Tribute Show
'Come Together - Right Now'

Liverpool Empire Theatre
Sunday December 11th 2005

Promotional image of Come Together Right Now



25 Years previously, almost to the date (8th December, 1980 to be precise) a lone lunatic took away the life of one of the twentieth century's most iconic figures. Now, with the anniversary and tributes to a life wasted ringing in a City's ears, Johnny Silver's tribute to the influence of John Lennon hit that legend's hometown with a preamble of media hype that resembled that of the second coming.


Media hype, by the way, which has not been overstated; Silver not only looks like Lennon on stage, he talks, acts and sings like the man to an extent where a ghost might be before the audience. A truly amazing feat when it's understood that Silver hails from, ironically, near Hamburg.
From the opening strains of Come Together to the final lines of Twist And Shout, this was a show to please and move everybody to tears and bouts of rapturous adulation.

Backed by Ian Watts (McCartney) Mike Willery (Harrison) and Steve Heappey (Starr), Silver also had two drummers and the aid of The Outcast Drama school to give the show an authentic feel, especially during Give Peace A Chance where the kids all waved banners on stage, and Help where a flock of teenagers filled the parts of the screaming fans.

This was more than a mere tribute that fell back on nostalgia though; these guys could play. Watts also played guitar and keyboards, as well as Left-handed Bass. Wilbury played bass and guitar and Heappey, the drums. Added to this, the band sang with the attributes of the originals and stuck to the mannerisms of each member, it might have been easy to believe they were miming. Rest assured though, they were not. This was years of planning coming to fruition and each member of the cast could be clearly seen to be enjoying playing the City on such an emotional weekend.


Johnny Silver as John Lennon


Ian Watts as Paul McCartney


The vast screen that hung from the back of the set showed clips that, at first, seemed to be gleaned from original videos, so authentic did they look. A second look showed, in fact, that the cast before us were the principal players.

With a story split into four sections, the track list started with Lennon's
# 9 Dream, Revolution, Instant Karma and a faultless Jealous Guy.

Highlights, however, were saved for the second half with A Day In The Life, Working Class Hero, Woman, Just Like Starting Over and a truly poignant rendition of the anthemic Imagine. Watts chipped in with numbers from McCartney's Wings and solo days. Band On The Run, Live And Let Die and Baby I'm Amazed made the audience believe that the other half of possibly the most famous lyricist team in the world was playing live before them.

Wilbury and Heappey filled in the parts of Harrison and Starr's contributions with My Sweet Lord and Octopus's Garden to name but two.

The lasting image of the show, however, was Free As A Bird with Silver on the big screen, and the band singing and playing on as they did in the video, released well after Lennon's murder. In all there were upwards of forty songs delivered with impeccable style, during a show that lasted a little short of three hours. Yes there were massive songs missing - Hey Jude and Let It Be being possibly the most notable - but hey, there are only so many songs that can slotted into one show and those that remained were superbly managed.

It might have taken the band years to cut through bureaucratic and copyright red-tape to put this show on, but anybody at the Liverpool Empire to witness it should be grateful for their determination.


Mike Wilbury as George Harrison


Steve Heappney as Ringo Starr


This was the final gig of the current tour, but rest assured, they are taking bookings for next year and I strongly recommend that everybody keep an eye out for when they are nearby, because this is the closest anybody is going to get to a Beatles concert and a truly stunning performance from all concerned.

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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