The Pete Best Band are looking sharp these days with their cool new threads, dressed in matching black suits and Fab boots. It was standing room only for the PBB as fans crowded the second floor to enjoy a romp through the early Mersey sound of The Beatles.
The PBB walked right through the crowd to take the stage at Kelly's Logan House, a historic building in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, October 26, 2006. Pete Best and his seasoned touring band were nearing the end of their third tour leg in the U.S. for this year.
Handling lead vocals is Chris Cavanagh, an energetic vocalist with his own style. Lead guitarist Phil Melia is aided by rhythm guitarist Tony Flynn who both take their turns at the microphone. Bassist Paul Parry is yet another stunning vocalist. Coaxing Pete to sing a song himself has proven elusive thus far.
Pete Best is not the only drummer for The PBB. Roag Best, Pete's younger brother, is also behind his own drumkit, embellishing the band's impact as a performing unit. Their dual drumming styles weave a cohesive foundation for the group. Pete is not an attention hound and his subtle personae takes a back seat to the powerful voices he has assembled as singers in his tight stage act.
The late evening set got off to a fast start with "Slow Down". Melia's lead guitar work ripped up the solo. Pete Best stepped forward to the mike briefly and welcomed fans to Wilmington. Next, Cavanagh and Parry shared harmony vocals on the classic Lennon rocker, "One After 909".
"P.S. I Love You", the first B-side released by The Beatles in 1962, featured Parry on lead vocals with Cavanagh providing harmony. Sung by Cavanagh, "Besame Mucho" was another hearty rocker with Melia chiming in on harmony.
Phil Melia's outstanding guitar work on the early Harrison-Lennon instrumental "Cry For A Shadow" was a highlight of the PBB performance. A flawless rhythm guitar duet by Melia and Flynn at the bridge showcased the ability of this live band to present material four decades old and make it sound exciting in the modern day.
Best returned to the mike stand to chat about his tenure as a Beatle, and the single that the pre-Fabs recorded as backing musicians for Tony Sheridan. That 1961 German single, "My Bonnie", was eventually requested by Liverpool teenagers, which motivated Brian Epstein to seek out The Beatles. Best holds the distinction in pounding out the beat for that debut commercial disc on vinyl.
Melia's mellow vocal launched their rendition of "My Bonnie", which quickly shifted gears with Cavanagh's rock vocal version. The four vocalists harmonized together. Parry's forward bass solo was aided by the crowd as they joined in on the chorus and clapped along in time.
Forty-three years later and counting, "I Saw Her Standing There" continues to energize audiences. The PBB deliver an exceptional live version. Fans can't help but let loose on the dance floor, further incited by Melia's choice lead guitar lines.
With the crowd pumped for more, the PBB commenced a tense take of "Twist And Shout". Cavanagh encouraged harmony support from an eager crowd during the extended bridge workout. An electrifying encore jam on "Johnny B. Goode" signaled the end to a fantastic engagement.
Pete Best is an unofficial Beatle Ambassador, warmly welcoming fans of all ages. The PBB provides Beatles fans with a good taste of what it was like to hear what the Fab lads sounded like before the eruption of Beatlemania took the world youth by storm in 1964. Listen as the Cavern and Hamburg era is revived on stage with the Pete Best Band.
The Pete Best Band have been tirelessly working in the Casbah Coffee Club studio recording tracks for their anticipated new studio album. With a 2007 release date pending, many PBB fans are patiently waiting for the final product. As yet, no new original material has been introduced into their repertoire.
Wilmington setlist: Slow Down * What I'd Say * One After 909 * Please Mister Postman * P.S. I Love You * Roll Over Beethoven * Besame Mucho * Hello Little Girl * September In The Rain * Long Tall Sally * Rock And Roll Music * Cry For A Shadow * My Bonnie * Sweet Georgia Brown * I Saw Her Standing There * Twist And Shout * Encore: Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey * Johnny B Goode
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Pete Best SELLS OUT the House
Something to rave aloud about the Pete Best Band
by Timothy Tilghman