Newcastle Road – Celebrate the Beatles!
MEDIA RELEASE Vancouver, June 2015 – 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 have released 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 Café 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.
The lyrical content on Under The Influence is the work of Alan Millen, a 63-year-old Canadian and former Vancouverite who has resided in Switzerland since 1987. Alan spent his formative years in Nanaimo, taught secondary school in Fort. St. John for a few years and later worked as a journalist on a suburban weekly newspaper before leaving for Switzerland, his wife’s home country, in 1987. Prior to his retirement in April 2015, he earned his living as a German-to-English translator specialising in the airline industry and subtitling Swiss films into English for film festival screening.
Sonically, Under The Influence bears the stamp of renowned Vancouver producer Bill Buckingham, himself a keen Beatles fan. The disc will be available from CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify and all leading on-line download sites.
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 mementoes.
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 www.timreadman.com.
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For videos of the songs go here:
The first song we wrote in 2009 was Let’s Celebrate The Beatles, which is loosely based on Day Tripper, but has quite a few Beatles references in it-how many can you spot? In 2010 we wrote and recorded two more-Wander Along and Christmas With The Beatles. Once again they are littered with references to Beatles songs. I love doing these songs. My musical accomplice is the incomparable Bill Buckingham, of Palace Studios, himself a huge Beatles fan.
Celebrate The Beatles
Beatles song titles provide the inspiration for this romp through their past glories. How many musical references can you spot? Answers on a postcard to the usual address…
Alan says: “Wander Along was inspired by the first-person stories published by various people with close ties to the Beatles, such as Julia Baird, Cynthia Lennon, Patti Boyd, May Pang, Pete Shotton, Tony Bramwell, along with the various biographies published over the years.
Having attended Beatle Week in Liverpool 14 times since 1998, I wanted the lyrics to the opening song “Let’s Celebrate The Beatles” to express my own appreciation for the city and the annual event, the Beatles themselves and those close to them who have shared their stories, and above all for the music the Beatles created. The project has taken on a life of its own since then, with each song presenting a different aspect of the fan experience. My partner Tim Readman teamed up with producer Bill Buckingham to create a mini-suite of Beatle-inspired words and music. We hope you enjoy the journey Newcastle Road takes you on this time around.”
Christmas With The Beatles is for everyone who ever looked forward to getting a Beatles album from Santa, especially those of you out there who grew up in the Sixties.