This summer Liverpool will celebrate 50 years since the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which gives me an overwhelming reason to visit.
Do You Want To Know A Secret?
I’ve never been to Liverpool.
There is no reason for *not* going, it’s just I’ve never had a work or personal reason to visit. I’m not a football fan so I haven’t taken the pilgrimage to Anfield or Goodison Park. Two of my favourite bands are from Liverpool – OMD and The Beatles, so it makes sense that I should pay more attention to the city.
What’s Taking Place In The City?
Taking place between 25th May and 16th June 2017, the Liverpool will play host to 13 different events – one for each track on the album.
“Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home will use each track on the iconic Beatles album as the creative springboard for 13 brand new events. The world premiere commissions reimagine the original track, which will evolve into a mixture of large and intimate events covering the worlds of art, dance, music, poetry, and theatre.
For more than two weeks, there will be performances, installations, live spectacle and moments of surprise across the city, as the spotlight will fall on Liverpool to celebrate their most famous sons in a way befitting of a record which broke the mould and changed music forever.” (official site)
The Album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released on June 1, 1967, in the UK and on June 2, 1967, in the US became a seminal that has delighted generatrions ever since. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London between December 1966 and April 1967, the album features a range of themes, many of which centre around the idea of identity, both individual and collective. The title track introduces the fictional band of the same name, and many of the songs on the album explore different facets of this identity, from the psychedelic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to the music hall-inspired “When I’m Sixty-Four.”
Other themes explored on the album include the nature of reality and perception, as in “A Day in the Life,” which juxtaposes surreal, disjointed imagery with a grounded sense of social commentary. The album also features several songs that reflect on themes of love, nostalgia, and the passage of time, including “She’s Leaving Home” and “Getting Better.”
It remains a landmark in popular music and a great reason for Liverpool to celebrate fifty years since it’s release.
Sgt. Pepper Events
The events range in diversity with each taking their inspiration from a song. For ‘Getting Better‘ DJ Spoony will present a question in the context of today’s environment. Is it really getting better? A little better all the time?
She’s Leaving Home will be brought to life in a series of intimate performances inside real Liverpool homes.
Mr Kite’s MUSICIRCUS! looks great fun. “An audacious 220-minute fairground ride of sights and sounds, together creating an immersive sensory spectacular.” The event looks to break the barriers between audience and performer welcoming spectating families and performing musicians alike.
George Harrison’s ‘Within You Without You’ will be reimagined by Milapfest with a Beatles Ragafest & Indian Festival Village. Featuring some of India’s best-known artists, this event will allow visitors to experience the best of Indian Music, enjoy some Indian food and even try a bit of Yoga!
Most of the Sgt Pepper events are free but booking early is encouraged to secure your seat in a potentially ‘once in a lifetime’ event!
What About Paul & Ringo?
There is no word, yet as to whether the remaining Beatles – Paul & Ringo will be attending the celebrations. In his recent Desert Trip concerts, Paul included Sgt Pepper tracks Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! & A Day in the Life.
We can expect to see many more tributes to this wonderful album throughout the year. UK’s Mojo Magazine is publishing a tribute edition including an exclusive interview with Sir Paul, which you can read here.
And in the end…
I lost my heart to Liverpool! It’s a long way from Abbey Road, yet he city is alive with musical history. Just seeing the Beatles Statue, watching the Dazzle Ships and getting lost in the Beatles Story left me with such a lasting memory. I can’t wait to go back.
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yaw rehto yna ees dluoc reven