Directed by Ron Howard
From 16th September 2016
Reviewed by Lynda-Louise Tomlinson
As an avid Beatles fan I had no problem giving up my evening to attend the world premiere of the new Beatles film, Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. As the crowds gathered in London’s Leicester Square, so did those at Liverpool’s FACT cinema.
Excitement grew as the blue carpet was rolled out to welcome such guests as The Quarrymen, John Lennon’s first band. Julia Baird, John Lennon’ s sister and Allan Williams, The Beatles first manager. Champagne flowed and anticipation filled not only FACT in Liverpool but cinemas all over the country.
As we snaked our way through Beatles royalty and relatives to get to our seats we were greeted by live footage from the London premiere where we were allowed to be a part of the biggest event of the year – guests (and therefore interviewees) included Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (very rarely seen together but appeared to be in good spirits), Beatles wives – Olivia Harrison, Nancy Shevell and Yoko Ono (showing signs of life catching up with her..) and even Eric Clapton attended the show.
Directed by Happy Days’ Ron Howard, the documentary film takes us from the early gigs at the world famous Cavern Club up until the controversial roof top concert on 30th January 1969, which was seen to be the end of the band. With live and unseen footage entwined with recent interviews of all surviving Beatles and their associates, we are taken on a magical history tour through the early days in Liverpool to their conquering of America, including press conferences, footage of the infamous “bigger than Jesus” comment from John Lennon an,d should you have the patience to sit through the end credits, you won’t regret it.
From beginning to end we witnessed s the huge impact John, Paul, George and Ringo had on the world of music, society and their fans (who appeared to be passing out from excitement here, there and everywhere). Their talent, commitment and legacy cannot be underestimated and Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years is a fine example of why The Beatles are one of the most successful bands of all time.