Liverpool will once again be a Mecca for music fans around the world this September, with legendary artists uniting for the first time ever to perform The Beatles’ White Album in its entirety.
Taking place over two spectacular evening performances on 8th and 9th September, this magical event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album in a purpose-built outdoor arena on Liverpool’s Pier Head to a capacity of 10,000 per night raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for two of the music industry’s favourite charities, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and The Teenage Cancer Trust.
All 30 tracks will be performed by a line-up of over 20 artists, backed by a world class backing band and Sense of Sound Singers’ choir followed by a finale of 15 Beatles’ favourites chosen and performed by all those artists taking part, accompanied by the Prague International Orchestra, conducted by Czech legend Varhan.
‘The Beatles’ album, more commonly referred to as ‘The White Album’ – which many critics view as one of the greatest albums of all time – includes songs such as ‘Back in the USSR’, ‘Dear Prudence’ and ‘While my Guitar Gently Weeps’. The legends lined-up so far to perform the iconic songs include Mike Rutherford of Genesis and Mike and the Mechanics, Marc Almond, Martha Reeves and Badly Drawn Boy, with many more big names to be announced in the coming weeks. Liverpool artists taking part include Space, China Crisis, Thomas Lang and four- time European Jazz singer of the year, Connie Lush. The Scaffold’s Roger McGough will be following on from his unique presentation at the arena tour shows commemorating the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper in 2017 with a new set of memories and readings commemorating the White Album onstage, while Liverpool DJ Janice Long and Dave Monks of BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Introduces/6 Music will be co-hosting on both days.
The team behind the concerts last delivered a charity concert on this scale in the city’s Capital of Culture year back in 2008, with their concert “The Number One Project live” the first ever gig at the brand new Echo Arena playing to a sell-out 10,600 people. Musical director Gary Wallis (Tom Jones/Pink Floyd/Jean Michel Jarre) directed that show and returns to direct the White Album at 50 having assembled a team of world-class players to form the backing band for the shows with extrovert Czech conductor Varhan bringing his Prague International Orchestra to Liverpool for the first time to deliver the show’s finale – an hour of every artist’s favourite Beatles song performed with the full band, orchestra and the Sense of Sound singers.
Teenage Cancer Trust patron and The Who’s legendary frontman, Roger Daltrey said “We are delighted to be involved in such a special concert as this and it will give us a chance to show the people of Liverpool what Teenage Cancer Trust is all about. The White Album is such an amazing record and it’s a brilliant way to celebrate it at 50 years old”.
Genesis bassist, Mike Rutherford, added: “The White Album has never been performed as a live piece in this way before, and with the world-class musicians and guest vocalists we are gathering together we will deliver an incredible musical and visual experience for all Beatles fans to savour. Both Nordoff Robbins and The Teenage Cancer Trust deliver incredible, life changing work and these concerts are a fitting tribute to their amazing results”.
Jane Ashton, Head of Music from Teenage Cancer Trust said: “As an organisation that relies 100 per cent on voluntary donations we are so grateful to be benefitting from this show. For every young person we reach there is another one we can’t. This support will help us continue providing young people with the specialised nursing and emotional support they desperately need.”
Julie Whelan, CEO of Nordoff Robbins, said: “We are so delighted to be part of this amazing event celebrating 50 years of the White Album along with our friends at Teenage Cancer Trust. This invaluable support from the Pier Head Village team will help raise the all-important funds to allow us to continue changing lives through music in the North West.”
Martin O’Shea, creative director of Pier Head Village and of The White Album at 50 concerts, said, “The White Album was the first Beatles record I ever owned and I literally wore it out. It is an absolute honour and privilege to host this magical concert in Liverpool and to be able to work with all the artists involved whilst raising funds and awareness for two incredible charities”.
The White Album at 50 concerts will be held on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September at Liverpool Pier Head. Tickets go on sale at 5pm on Wednesday 27th June and can be purchased exclusively from www.thewhitealbumat50.com.