Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Newcastle Road - Celebrating The Beatles Fan Experience.

Fans of the Beatles show their affection for the legendary band from Liverpool in various ways. Some create websites celebrating the lives and careers of the Fab Four. Others turn a room in their home into a shrine, with album covers, photographs, posters, books, concert and movie DVDs and assorted memorabilia taking centre stage. Many fans travel to London to visit the now iconic crosswalk that featured on the cover of the Abbey Road album, and they journey up to Liverpool to see the numerous locations associated with the early lives of Ringo, John, Paul and George. And those with sufficient musical ability of their own form Beatle tribute bands that draw their repertoire from the more than 200 songs penned by Liverpool’s most famous sons.

But a Vancouver musician and his songwriting partner, a former Vancouver resident now based in Zurich, Switzerland, are taking a bold step further by writing and recording a CD of music that describes the experience of being inspired on various levels by the creativity of The Beatles. Under the name Newcastle Road they are now putting the finishing touches on a CD called Under The Influence which consists of 14 original songs designed to resonate with Beatlemaniacs from Vancouver to Venice, Vienna, Vladivostok and beyond.

Musically, the songs on Under The Influence have a playful “Beatle-esque” flavour designed to delight fans of the Fab Four. The lyrical narrative explores experiences readily familiar to Beatle fans: visiting the famous Abbey Road crosswalk, recalling the impact of The Beatles on North American teens with their legendary debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, attending Liverpool’s annual Beatle Week festival, and reminiscing about the thrill of receiving a Beatles album for Christmas while growing up during the Sixties. Four of the songs form a mini-suite on the theme of “Meet The Beatles” in which the respective narrators reflect on a real or imagined encounter with a Beatle. Collectively, the 14 songs examine the nature of the fan-idol relationship in moods that range from light-hearted to serious. The disc closes with a surrealistic nine-minute dreamscape in which characters created by The Beatles meet and interact.

The vocal and musical “front man” of Newcastle Road is Tim Readman, a resident of Vancouver since 1987, having relocated to the West Coast from the North East of England. His career spans more than 30 years and covers every genre of folk and popular music imaginable. In recent years he has been a fixture on the Vancouver music scene, hosting hosted regular sessions at the Montmartre CafĂ© on Main Street for many years and also serving as the artistic director for the Vancouver Celtic Festival in 2008 and 2009. His band Fear of Drinking enjoyed success in the Celtic music world and he has performed on stages far and wide across North America and the UK.

Speaking of their joint love of Beatle music that inspired the creation of their own original tribute to the musicians to whom they owe so much, Alan said: “We wanted to show our appreciation in a way we think the Beatles themselves would have approved of, namely by creating something completely original but with a clear nod in their direction.” Among Alan’s most prized Beatle-related artifacts are a bootleg vinyl album called Vancouver 1964, which includes the entire concert at Empire Stadium on August 22, 1964 and full radio coverage of the event by radio station CKNW. A life-size plywood rendition of the Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper gear, which was discovered in a Zurich thrift store a few years ago, and a copy of Revolver signed by cover designer and Beatles insider Klaus Voorman are other noteworthy mementos.

The Internet first brought Alan and Tim together back in 2002. In the meantime they have released three CDs of songs by, for and about Newcastle United, the English football team they have both supported since boyhood. In 2008 they released a CD of original material called All Over The Map, for which they adopted the name The Eventually Brothers in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Craig McKerron.

Where to buy: The music will be available from CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify and all leading on-line download sites of via

For videos of the songs go here:

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