FILM REVIEW: Eight days a week – The touring years

The Beatles
The Beatles

Movie follows fab four from Cavern to Candlestick Park

This is both a movie about and by The Beatles.

From 1962 to 1966, The Beatles rose from the clubland of Liverpool to become the biggest band in the world – ever.

We all know the history of The Fab Four and their records, but what was it like to actually be a Beatle? And what was it like to be around The Beatles?

This excellent film tells us.

Pieced together with rarely and never-before-seen archive footage, we are taken on the same journey that John, Paul, George and Ringo went on during those formative years.

There is no narration, the whole story is told using the film footage and interviews.

The visuals have been remastered and some look as though they were shot yesterday and take us right back to the sweaty days of The Cavern Club through to the climactic concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, when the band decided to stop touring.

There are new interviews with Paul and Ringo as well as archive interviews with John and George.

People who travelled with them, such as Road Manager Mal Evans also tells of life in the ‘Beatle Bubble’ as they tried to cope with their fame and masses of fans who threatened to overwhelm them at every concert.

And celebrity fans like Sigourney Weaver and Whoopie Goldberg tell us how they got to see The Beatles live.

The overall impression of life for the band is one of imprisonment, it was a constant conveyor belt of touring and recording which left the four musicians exhausted and yearning for a rest.

It’s a film to make us realise that even though they were the most famous group in the world, fame such as they enjoyed – or endured – was not all that is was cracked up to be.

And stick around for the closing credits, as we are treated to the 1963 Christmas message from the band that was issued to Fan Club members.

Martin