Carnaby Street – the musical!

Carnaby Street – In with the ‘In’ Crowd.

Carnaby Street the musical is now on tour around the UK. A sixties themed musical it tells the story of Jude, a musician from Liverpool who hitchhikes down from Liverpool to London’s West End looking for fame and fortune in the swinging capital. It was a time when things were changing fast and anything seemed possible. Based on the real life experiences of writer producer and music industry mogul Carl Leighton Pope (currently the agent for Byran Adams and Micheal Buble) it features the famous Marquee club. This was the hottest club in London for new bands. The likes of The Who, The Moody Blues, the Yardbirds and Rod Stewart started their careers there. 

Grooving at the Marquee club

 Carl said of his sixties memories “Being a mod meant I rode a Vespa scooter, bought my clothes in Carnaby Street and followed the cool bands of the time. The Who led the way. We fought on the beaches and lived for the weekends. Our whole lives were based around music. It told us who we were, who we hung around with, what girls we knew.What dances we did – in fact – our entire lifestyle.Soho was called the square mile and that’s where the sixties really began.”

Brass is best

 

Being a mod meant I rode a Vespa scooter, bought my clothes in Carnaby Street and followed the cool bands of the time. The Who led the way. We fought on the beaches and lived for the weekends. Our whole lives were based around music. It told us who we were, who we hung around with, what girls we knew. What dances we did – in fact – our entire lifestyle. Soho was called the Square Mile, and that’s where the 60’s really began – See more at: http://www.entertainment-focus.com/theatre-section/theatre-news/carnaby-street-to-embark-on-uk-tour/#sthash.27B4Ujwb.dpufOther main characters are Jude’s friend Penny Lane who comes down from Liverpool with him but who is really in love with him, ‘Wild Thing’, who is the heavy metal drug taking character who just can’t conform, and Lady Jane the aristocratic girlfriend who says she’s good at sex but not love and then promptly falls head over heels for the hero. The narrator character looked very familiar to me and turned out to be Stephen Beale from East Enders and the rest of the bouncy cast were all round singers dancers and actors with an impressive West End pedigree in an assortment of West End musicals.

Some of the songs are original. I’m not sure it’s a such good idea to put original songs alongside such well known ones as they’re always going to suffer by comparison, but the main focus of the show were the hits from the swinging sixties including Shout, My Generation, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Sweets for my Sweet, Roll Over Beethoven, Go Now, Keep On Running, I Only Want To Be With You, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Twist And Shout, 54321, We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place and Do You Love Me?.One of the highlights for me was Lady Jane (Tricia Adele Turner) who sang Cilla Black’s ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart,’ which is one of my favourite songs from that era.

Sixties songbird

There were snippets of social commentary as the newsreader reminded us periodically that this was the era of The Sun newspaper’s first publication proclaiming its intention to be a ‘beacon of truth.’ The time when telephone numbers became just numbers and lost their letters, when the very first drink driving limit was introduced and when the contraceptive pill meant that ‘free love’ became de rigeur.

Fashion Challenges

As usual, the audience at the Sunderland Empire were lively, and they never take much persuading to get up and dance in their seats or in the isles or anywhere really. There were some older ladies who did seem rather well refreshed however, and when one of their phones went off and was actually answered, we all heard a slightly slurred voice saying ‘Ee I cannat talk now I’m in the Theatre and it’s a quiet bit’ – it does make you wonder whether they actually understand the concept of live performance or whether they think its just some sort of recording. Carnaby street is a much a gig as it is a show, with a live four piece band on stage all the way through it’s a fun romp. I was listening to a debate on Radio 4 this week where a critic was bemoaning the plethora of  ‘juke box’ musicals in the West End, which are based on existing songs rather than creating something original. My argument is that if they are fun, well produced, they engage people and get them to buy tickets for the Theatre, I don’t see the problem. The middles classes have always had a problem when anything gets too popular. They think that means it isn’t any good. The music from this era still remains extremely popular and is constantly featured in adverts and movies so even young people know these songs and this music still resonates today. This means that Carnaby Street is a show that can be enjoyed by all ages. As long as don’t expect to have to think too hard and are after a good night out this could well be for you..

Wild Thing sounding off

 

 

Where IT WAS AT!

 

 

 

he 60s themed musical set in London’s West End relives a time when the world was changing and anything was possible. It tells the story of Jude, a working class boy from Liverpool, who is new town and armed with nothing but his guitar. We follow his journey as he pursues stardom.
Carnaby Street features over 30 hits from the 60s including Shout, My Generation, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and more.
With a book inspired by writer, producer and music industry legend Carl Leighton Pope’s real life experiences he says; “In 1964 I was 18 years old. My father had a pub in Dean Street, Soho called The Crown and Two Chairman and I was an out of work actor. I worked five nights a week in the now iconic venue – The Marquee Club – the hottest club in London for new bands. The Who, The Yardbirds, Rod Stewart, Moody Blues and many more started their careers there in 1964.
“Being a mod meant I rode a Vespa scooter, bought my clothes in Carnaby Street and followed the cool bands of the time. The Who led the way. We fought on the beaches and lived for the weekends. Our whole lives were based around music. It told us who we were, who we hung around with, what girls we knew. What dances we did – in fact – our entire lifestyle. Soho was called the Square Mile, and that’s where the 60’s really began.
“My 40 years in the music business has given me many road stories, all of which, told with a drink are entertaining. There have been many suggestions about ‘the book’, but my intention was never to write one. The musical is my document, it is mildly autobiographical in that all that the characters were real people that I met during that time.
The songs are classic 60’s hits and the fashion and the colour gave me my story. I didn’t want it to be a song-led concert style musical, so the book, together with the music is the story I wanted to tell. It took 16 years to write. It was a real labour of love. Please enjoy it as much as I do.”
– See more at: http://www.entertainment-focus.com/theatre-section/theatre-news/carnaby-street-to-embark-on-uk-tour/#sthash.x2VUgzqo.dpuf

he 60s themed musical set in London’s West End relives a time when the world was changing and anything was possible. It tells the story of Jude, a working class boy from Liverpool, who is new town and armed with nothing but his guitar. We follow his journey as he pursues stardom.
Carnaby Street features over 30 hits from the 60s including Shout, My Generation, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and more.
With a book inspired by writer, producer and music industry legend Carl Leighton Pope’s real life experiences he says; “In 1964 I was 18 years old. My father had a pub in Dean Street, Soho called The Crown and Two Chairman and I was an out of work actor. I worked five nights a week in the now iconic venue – The Marquee Club – the hottest club in London for new bands. The Who, The Yardbirds, Rod Stewart, Moody Blues and many more started their careers there in 1964.
“Being a mod meant I rode a Vespa scooter, bought my clothes in Carnaby Street and followed the cool bands of the time. The Who led the way. We fought on the beaches and lived for the weekends. Our whole lives were based around music. It told us who we were, who we hung around with, what girls we knew. What dances we did – in fact – our entire lifestyle. Soho was called the Square Mile, and that’s where the 60’s really began.
“My 40 years in the music business has given me many road stories, all of which, told with a drink are entertaining. There have been many suggestions about ‘the book’, but my intention was never to write one. The musical is my document, it is mildly autobiographical in that all that the characters were real people that I met during that time.
The songs are classic 60’s hits and the fashion and the colour gave me my story. I didn’t want it to be a song-led concert style musical, so the book, together with the music is the story I wanted to tell. It took 16 years to write. It was a real labour of love. Please enjoy it as much as I do.”
– See more at: http://www.entertainment-focus.com/theatre-section/theatre-news/carnaby-street-to-embark-on-uk-tour/#sthash.x2VUgzqo.dpuff The Beatles, Manfred Mann, The Animals, The Searchers, The Who and other great bands of the era.