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Beatles at Tenbury Wells

With permission of Bridge Inn Tenbury

The Beatles play Tenbury

The story of how the Beatles came to play a tiny Worcestershire club just as Beatlemania was taking off.

The story of how The Beatles ended up playing a tiny venue in Worcestershire, just as they were starting to make it big, is a tale of luck and loyalty to a deal.

Bridge Hotel, Tenbury Wells where the Riverside Club was

Bridge Hotel, Tenbury Wells

In 1963, The Beatles were at the start of a meteoric rise that would turn the into the biggest band on the planet.

Please Please Me, their second single, had gone to number one (or number two, depending on which chart you believe) and thanks to an appearance on the ATV show Thank Your Lucky Stars (filmed in Birmingham) they were suddenly in demand by every concert venue in the country.

1962 had seen the band playing lunchtime gigs at The Cavern Club, in Liverpool - a year later they were touring the biggest venues on the British rock circuit as a headline act, and on their way to topping the bill at the NME Poll Winners concert at the Empire Pool Wembley, and the Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre, in London.

Bridge Hotel Tenbury Wells - view from the stage

The view the Beatles would have seen

Yet in the middle of their first UK headline tour, and sandwiched between gigs at the Co-op Hall in Middleton and the Royal Albert Hall, the fab four played the tiny Riverside Dancing Club, in Tenbury Wells.

It was a date their manager Brian Epstein had arranged when the Beatles were just another struggling band from Liverpool.

It would have been easy for Epstein to pull out of the gig, now that his group was the hottest thing around, but he was a man of his word, and so the Beatles duly turned up in Worcestershire on 15 April 1963.

Bridge Hotel, Tenbury Wells - the stage

The stage they played on

In the pre-Bealtlemania days they were able to stroll along the High Street, even stopping to get Ringo an ice-cream.

The band was also playing great rock'n'roll - honed during all those hours playing at The Cavern and clubs in Hamburg.

You can read a first hand account of the gig, from one of the people who booked the band, here:

If you have a story about gigs you've seen in Herefordshire or Worcester, or about meeting a rock music legend, then we'd love to hear you story, and include it in our Music Map.

last updated: 27/11/2008 at 16:42
created: 27/11/2008

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Entertainment > Friday Session > Music map > The Beatles play Tenbury

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