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It was 50 years ago today


LIPA Sixth Form College (LSFC) Music students brought hundreds of Liverpool city centre shoppers to a standstill with their recreation of The Beatles' iconic rooftop concert on Tuesday 30th January

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last public performance saw Music, Sound Technology and Production Arts students brave the snow and freezing temperatures to set up and perform on the roof of Starbucks at Liverpool ONE shopping centre.

As well as attracting a crowd of shoppers, the performance also received local, national and international coverage with BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC North West Tonight, BBC Radio Five Live and NBC News America all reporting on the event.

The performance was part of the students’ studies. The Programme Manager for Music explains: “They’ve been provided with a live brief in which they have been challenged to produce two Beatles songs as accurately as possible and a further two as their own interpretations.

“This performance has come about as part of a project looking at The Beatles’ legacy, their writing and performance style and their influences, giving the students an in-depth insight as to how the band functioned. It’s also a unique performing experience for them.”

Pippa Crossland, one of the Music students taking part, said: “My band performed the Abbey Road B-side medley, and I hadn’t heard some of the songs before.

“It’s been a great challenge to learn them and get them ready to perform in public. We’ve been learning a lot from the versatility of The Beatles, which has helped shape our rehearsals.”

The Beatles’ performance in 1969 took place on the roof of their Savile Row offices in London and was filmed for their movie Let it Be. It lasted 42 minutes and featured numerous takes of five songs.

For LSFC’s celebration, nine bands performed material from across The Beatles’ entire career, with students from the Acting courses accompanying the music with their own dance interpretations of the classic songs. Sophie Wilson, vocalist with one of the bands, said: “It was such an exciting opportunity – I don’t think any other college could offer its students the chance to perform in public on a rooftop!”

Ormskirk music shop Sound Affects lent students a Hofner Violin bass - the same make as used by Paul McCartney in the original concert – while Orange provided amps for the performance.