Liverpool is a cultural gem located in the North of England. In 2008 it was crowned the European Capital of Culture and walking around this city it is not hard to see why. Liverpool has a rich musical history, synonymous with The Beatles . These days people flock from all around the world to see where it all began for the fab four. If you are planning to visit Liverpool this is our guide for music lovers.
Things to see
So first things first I should add that it’s not just Beatles-mania that attracts music fans to Liverpool. For starters the Liverpool Philharmonic also draws in the crowds. It is actually the UK’s oldest professional symphony orchestra. The venue was founded in 1840 and has an incredible interior that is most definitely worth a look for music fans everywhere.
On top of this the city is home to one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the country, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts or the LIPA for short. Paul McCartney was actually one of the people responsible for starting the Institute. McCartney attended school here when it was the Liverpool High School for Boys. These days applicants from all over the world apply for the chance to be educated at this prestigious school.
For the Beatles fans
So obviously the most famous act to come out of Liverpool was the Beatles. It is something that the city has been proud of ever since. There is a statue by the Royal Liver Building of the Fab Four to commemorate this. It’s not just statues that show the city’s pride, there are also Beatles tours you can go on and there is even a museum dedicated to them.
The Beatles Story
The Beatles Story is an interactive and informative museum, and is really worth a visit. There are some amazing exhibits including a recreation of the Cavern Club, the centre of Liverpool’s rock and roll scene in the 60’s. There is also a yellow submarine you can walk through as the museum takes you through the Beatles more experimental era. The museum offers a unique insight into those heady days of Beatles mania. Right at the end of the museum the last room you go into is completely white. There is a piano and the song “Imagine” is played on repeat which is a beautiful tribute to Lennon.
The Magical Mystery Tour
Departing from the Albert Dock is the brightly coloured bus ready to take you on the Magical Mystery Tour. It is a really informative 2 hour tour that takes you to some of the most poignant locations in Beatles history. The tour costs around £17.50 and you really should book in advance as there are only a set number of tours that depart throughout the day. There are plenty of photo opportunities and you get to leave the bus to see George Harrison’s birth place (which incidentally was his childhood home), Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and Paul McCartney’s childhood home.
The guides are really knowledgeable and we learnt so many things about the Beatles and how they started. The best thing is that you can participate in a number of singalongs on the bus. So get your vocal chords ready.
The Cavern Club
The Magical Mystery Tours ends around Matthew Street which is the home of the Cavern Club. The current venue is in the same location as the original. In fact it is a near exact replica of the club back in the day. It was built with some of the original bricks and was built off the exact plans as the original Cavern Club. It originally started as a Jazz club and then evolved to become the centre of rock and roll in Liverpool in the 1960’s. The Beatles would often play here, sometimes at lunch time. And so the workers used to come down and listen to them. Which I have to say is better than pretty much any lunch I have ever had at work!
These days the Cavern is still home to live music. We were treated to two acoustic sets in the afternoon by Jon Keats and Richard Batty. They were fantastic and played a lot of Beatles songs as well as songs by artists from the same era.
It is such an incredible atmosphere. Everyone literally loses their inhibitions (yes the drink may help but I really think it is more then that) and are united by their love of music and the Beatles. When we visited the audience were singing and dancing along and this was on a Monday afternoon. A small tip, don’t forget when you are on Matthew street to get a photo of the statue of John Lennon.
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