The Beatles’ first live appearance on BBC radio occurred on Brian Matthews’ Saturday Club January 26, 1963. Today we create our own version of the club, chock full of more recent Merseybeats from bands both far and near the Lime Street Station.
The Poppermost hail from Glasgow, Scotland and their releases are very 1963-64 era fab four fantastic. Ok, the ‘they’ here is actually just him, one guy, Joe Kane, but what a beautiful noise this guy manages to pull off playing and singing everything. The feel is the breezy pop perhaps a bit more associated with some of the songs The Beatles gave away in their early days, to groups like The Fourmost, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and Peter and Gordon. The band’s debut single “Can’t Take That Away” has a definite “Bad to Me” swing while its b-side is the Beatles brand of American R&B reinvention. The pop carries over on the just released EP A Piece of the Poppermost with “Laziest Fella in the Realm” and “In and Out” while “Get It Down” nails an “I’ll Follow the Sun” vibe. But the EP does rock out a bit with the opening cut “Well I Will,” in a very gear 1964 sort of way, of course.
The Unswept are originally from Sheffield but now reside in Chicago and their brand of Merseyfied poprock leans heavily on Harrisonian jangle. His distinctive Rickenbacker sound is all over the fun cover of Marshall Crenshaw’s “Cynical Girl” that appears on their brand new EP Power Pop for All the People. Well, sort of brand new – three of the four songs were previously available on their self-titled 2014 release. But hey, who doesn’t want to hear a jangly romp through The Rutles “I Must Be In Love” and Nick Lowe’s “So It Goes” again? I definitely do. And add to the mix another magical Liverpool contribution, the La’s “I Can’t Sleep,” and you’ve really got something special. The La’s don’t get covered much because, frankly, their songs are hard to do. But The Unswept ace the energy, vocal interplay, and dynamic guitar work the track demands. If this EP doesn’t send you packing to pick up a copy of their recent EP of original stuff, The Codependent, then it’s time to make a hearing appointment.
Ever since they hit the scene Cupid’s Carnival have reliably serviced the mid-period Beatlemaniacs. These guys really know how to throw out a slightly psychedelic, harmony-vocaled set of hooks. As we wait for a follow up album to 2020’s Colour Blind, the boys have got a fab new single “You’re So Cool” and it’s the injection of Mersey poprock you need right now. Our last featured act on this rogue episode of Saturday Club are The Meatles, from their Beat the Meatles release. Now, I thought it was just National Lampoon that went in for these sort of gags but apparently there’s a New Zealand Beatles cover band that has a predictably over-the-top lewd take on the idea. That’s not what we’re featuring here. What we’ve got is uber talented Gary Ritchie’s strictly classy 2000 tribute to the Fabs, twenty-two lovingly crafted note-perfect covers of the early to mid-period Beatles catalogue. Personally, I think Ritchie adds some distinctive elements to “Little Child,” “I’ll Cry Instead,” and “I’ll Get You.” But the whole record is a dance party booster. Get it on the turntable and then get it on!
The Beatles are not coming back but their influence keeps returning in new releases, showing up in both predictable and innovative ways. Make sure to tune in to these acts at your local e-music retailer.