REO Brothers Wows Beatle Fanatics at the Cavern
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This is a story of success for us and we are sharing with you.
<<A “dream-come-true” gig at the Cavern Club, the legendary Liverpool Club of the Beatles, drew the “performance-of-a-lifetime” from the Philippines’ own Fab 4, the REO Brothers, who had the predominantly British crowd, yelling for encores at the conclusion of a tight 11-song set!
The lead singer of the Cavern Beatles, the house band at the famed club, summed it all up in one description: “FANTASTIC!”
On a Friday evening, which was unusually chilly on a Liverpool summer night, Mathews St., where the Cavern Club is, the favorite evening destination of locals and tourists, had its usual heavy customer traffic of Beatle fanatics! Out in the street, there was a steady stream of Beatle fans, enjoying every moment savoring “photo-ops” with memorabilia, from the Club façade with the distinctive “Cavern” signage to pictures, posters, streamers, and even a Lennon statue, vying for their attention! Inside the Club, you finally see the historic stage where the Beatles actually performed at the basement, after going down a narrow, winding staircase, several levels below the street. The real Beatle stage is a very small, cramped platform facing a crowd jostling for every available space in the limited area to enjoy their evening cocktails.
It is, however, no longer the stage for the nightly performances of the Cavern Beatles, and similar tribute bands that get the rare opportunity of being selected to sing their hearts out on the same venue!
Instead, there is now an extended annex in the same basement, an expanded, separate private “Cavern Lounge” which can accommodate an “entry fee”-paying crowd with seating for possibly about 120-140 customers, and a satellite bar which can serve about 50-60 more! This is where the Cavern Beatles perform nightly for their fans; this is where the REO Brothers shared the stage on that eventful August 1st performance.
Arriving exhausted at the Cavern late in the afternoon after a long 5 hour drive from London, there was hardly enough time to do a sound check before the show, with the Cavern Beatles taking their time finishing their own, obviously getting the star treatment from the Club. The REO Brothers managed a 15-minute check, much shorter than their usual one-hour allowance, and had to clear the stage because the long customer queue outside the Lounge had to already be accommodated for the standard 830PM gate opening.
At the dressing room shortly before going on the stage for their 9PM set, the brothers held each other and prayed together, while an SRO crowd anxiously waited outside. This is, after all, a performance one can only dream of when you start strumming a guitar and humming your first Beatle song! A performance which thousands of “wanna be” Beatle tribute bands all over the world can only sigh of!
After a brief introduction of the band by this writer, the crowd settled in their seats in anticipation of the opening number. Beatle fanatics are probably the harshest critics of the tribute bands; they know Beatle songs by heart, and can spot mediocre pretenders from any song’s opening bars. They were there not to listen to a sob story of the Tacloban disaster, but to have a great night of Beatle music.
They were not disappointed! The reaction was awesome!
From the opening, high energy number “Please Please Me,” they showed their appreciation by intently listening and then, clapping enthusiastically after each Beatle favorite, which included “Help,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Two of Us,” ””Octopus Garden,” and others. The crowd at the bar, which had a little more space to move around, danced vigorously to the rock and roll beat as they savored the REO Brothers “sound-alike” renditions. At the conclusion of their set with their closing number “All My Loving,” the crowd yelled for more numbers, but the technician stuck with his guide sheet that showed only 11 songs, and dutifully, turned off the lights.
The Filipino crowd which included the UK Tour promoters, Fill-Connect, with the indefatigable and gracious hosts Genesis “Jojo” Sanchez and Oliver Bautista,; long-time London resident and advertising colleague Peps Villanueva; Manny de Guzman who flew all the way from San Francisco to watch his idols perform in the UK tour; Dave Lawrence, British national who has become a big fan after seeing the boys on you tube; Caloy Gigante, Fil-com Liverpool leader; and my long-time partner Judith Jones, a big fan from the Phlippines, together with a lively group of “REOTICS” from Belfast who took an 8-hour boat ride to be at the Cavern, were all beaming with pride after the performance, as instant British fans were still yelling for encores even after the stage lights had been turned off. At the dressing room shared with the Cavern Beatles, the house band congratulated the boys for a great show, and later on, told the crowd it was a “fantastic” performance.
Special mention must be made of Fil-Connect’s Genesis “Jojo” Sanchez who arranged with Jon Keats of the Cavern Club the very first performance of a Beatle tribute band from the Philippines. Jon Keats immediately approved of the REO Brothers when he saw a performance from a tape sourced from you tube.
Cavern Club, a historic milestone in the REO Brothers inspiring journey from the despair in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, to admiring audiences in Manila, New York, California, Tokyo and now the Cavern in Liverpool, a challenging dream-come-true, matched with the performance of a lifetime!>>
by *Tom C. Banguis Jr – August 2, 2014
*Tom Banguis Jr: Band Adviser and Road Manager of the REO Brothers. He is Chairman/CEO of 4 companies he co-founded in media, promotions and merchandising. He is actively assisting the music career of the band.
IAM is glad to make your “dreams-come-true”.
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