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Power to the Percussionists
The sound was LOUD and the beat was neat!

by Timothy Tilghman

Lancaster was loud! How loud was it? The Pete Best Band were so loud that one could actually discern between Pete Best and Roag Best playing the drums on stage. Normally, the sound mix blends their playing together and creates waves of dual percussion that is the PBB signature sound. For those listening acutely in Lancaster, the audience got a rare treat in clearly hearing their individual drum weaving styles.

The Pete Best Band appeared at the Chameleon Club in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, May 13, 2 008. Situated on the second floor in a huge rectangular room, the PBB stage sound consumed every inch of the concert hall. A decent crowd turned out and thoroughly enjoyed songs that once belonged to a Fab era that thrived in Liverpool and Hamburg many moons ago.

Edgewood Club 66 owner Dave Rode was on hand to introduce the PBB. The band crashed into "Slow Down", and there was NO stopping them. The sound levels had been balanced for the opening act Suburban Sound, and Evan who was working the house sound had to equalize the higher than normal levels for the PBB. Although unexpected, it was totally rad to hear the PBB with enhanced volume.

Pete Best stepped forward briefly to greet Lancaster and mention the names of PBB frembers in the audience. Best prompted the crowd to clap in time to "What I'd Say", which the group launched into once Pete reclaimed his seat behind his kit. Roag took the lead on the percussion break during the call out on the 'heys' and 'ohs'.

"One After 909" was an intense jam. "Hello Little Girl", missing from the setlist, made a smashing return. Lead guitarist Phil Melia sang lead vocals on this pair of Lennon-penned rockers. Bassist Paul Parry calmed things down momentarily with McCartney's "P.S. I Love You", a spot-on vocal with tight harmonies. Pete handled the percussion lead nicely.

Melia rocked the Chameleon Club with "Roll Over Beethoven", and Parry immediately followed with his powerful rendition of "Besame Mucho". Rhythm guitarist Tony Flynn took his turn at vocals on "You Really Got A Hold On Me", which highlights the harmonizing abilities of this seasoned touring unit.

Parry demonstrated his vocal diversity with the ballad "Till There Was You" and then belted out "Long Tall Sally". Flynn's fierce vocals on both "Rock And Roll Music" and "Money" were additional examples of the raucous projection of the PBB live on stage.

Parry directly questioned me for the title to an instrumental recorded by the Fabs in 1961 with Pete Best on drums. Having announced the title, it was my duty to treat the Fab fivesome to a round of Tequilas. "Cry For A Shadow" was incendiary. The lads really punched up this tidy little Harrison-Lennon rocker.

Parry welcomed Pete Best to address the crowd. Pete greeted the audience and shared his memories about recording a single in Germany issued by Tony Sheridan. While Pete was at the microphone, Teri helped me deliver the five shots of Tequila to the group with smiles and cheers from the lad.

Melia began "My Bonnie" with a subtle lead vocal that was quickly commandeered by the percussive power of Roag who put the pedal to the tempo. The band spiked Flynn's version of "Some Other Guy", perhaps the best cover song by the embryonic Fabs. This tune is a prime example of the energetic delivery that captivates PBB audiences.

The PBB hammered out the rave-fave "I Saw Her Standing There" with Parry at the helm on vocals. The dancing continued on "Twist And Shout" as Flynn solicited crowd participation during the chorus crescendo. The intensity of the fabulous performance ended all too soon as the lads took a final bow.

Uncommonly, the PBB did not return for their obligatory encore. Several members in the Lancaster audience attempted to clamor for the PBB to perform an encore, but the loud house sound system had drowned out all their noise making. Pete did come back to sign autographs and shake hands with fans.

The buzz among PBB frembers is the anticipation surrounding the new studio album recorded by the Pete Best Band, Haymans Green. The new disc is headed for production and will be released in time for the PBB's Fall 2008 U.S. Tour. This is a BIG deal for both Pete Best and the PBB. The theme of the album is biographical, and snatches of the music hint that Pete has something to be very proud of once it hits the public market.

Lancaster setlist: Slow Down * What I'd Say * One After 909 * Please Mister Postman * Hello Little Girl * P.S. I Love You * Roll Over Beethoven * Besame Mucho * Three Cool Cats * You Really Got A Hold On Me * Till There Was You * Long Tall Sally * Rock And Roll Music * Money * Cry For A Shadow * My Bonnie * Some Other Guy * I Saw Her Standing There * Twist And Shout

Haymans Green

RockonTour   Issue #81
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