"Girls Don't Play Guitars" - The Untold Story of the Liverbirds and how they proved John Lennon wrong.

    They were one of Liverpool’s most successful bands during the Merserybeat Era of the 1960s, but it would be fair to say that a number of music fans around the UK won't have heard of them. I certainly didn’t; but a brief TV news item was enough to convince me to find out more.

    The Liverbirds, featured Mary McGlory (bass), Pam Birch (rhythm guitar and vocals), Valerie Gell (lead guitar and vocals) and Sylvia Saunders (drums). They were the World’s first all-female Rock n Roll Band, who like all Liverpool bands of that time, cut their musical teeth at the city’s Legendary Cavern Club.

    And even though they were dismissed by John Lennon during their first meeting, saying that “Girls Don’t Play Guitars,” they went on to more than prove him wrong, carving out a career that took them away from their home city to the Beatle’s old stomping ground of Hamburg Germany at the Star-Club.

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    Billed as the “Female Beatles”, they recorded a number of hit Singles and Albums for the Star-Club’s record label, supporting the likes of the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and they even turned down the management services of Brian Epstein. And when that TV report said that their story was being told through a new stage show at the Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre, earning rave reviews, we could not pass up the opportunity to see it for myself and my good lady, as we were travelling down to the city for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

    We already had our weekend planned, including drinking champagne on the “Ferry Across the Mersey,” along with taking in live music at the Cavern, but we could not pass up the opportunity of starting our weekend with a night out at the theatre. The show, “Girls Don’t Play Guitars,” is inspired by Lennon’s comment when they were introduced to him and Paul McCartney following a lunchtime performance at the Cavern. And after a few minutes into the performance, the signs were there that this was a production of West End Theatre standard that deserves to be seen outside Liverpool.

    Backed by a fantastic TV Studio inspired set, a first-class script from Writer, Ian Salmon and a mega-talented cast, Male and Female, “Girls Don’t Play Guitars,” is not just a celebration of Merseybeat, but the tale of friendships of four young women, standing tall amongst their male counterparts, who carved out their own path to musical success on their own terms The main catalyst behind the success of the show were the performances from Molly Grace Cutler, Alice McKenna, Sarah Workman and Lisa Wright who had been praised by the two surviving members of the original Liverbirds, Sylvia Saunders and Mary McGlory, for their portrayal of them onstage. Not only did they deliver musically but also deserve full praise for their performances as characters, taking the audience through a story that is going to make you laugh, cry and created a unique untold story.

    During the two hours that followed we were treated to a number of classic sixties numbers along with the Liverbirds own smash hits “Diddley Daddy” and instant catchy, “Peanut Butter” which was the perfect number to open the show, which set the tone for a perfect rock n roll night of entertainment. And when “Peanut Butter” was reprised for a much-deserved encore, there was the added bonus of Sylvia and Mary joining them on stage which got the audience were all on their feet, myself included.

    It was more than fifty years since their first chart success, but with Mary back on the bass and Sylvia giving it plenty on the drums, they showed that they still knew how to rock the joint.

    74355915 2359372507646719 1044958542320107520 n“Girls Don’t Play Guitars!” continues at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre till Nov 2nd.

    One can only hope that the powers that be take this production on the road. It is a story that deserves to be told and it was superbly. It is a rocking night out!

    Pics C/O Liverpool Royal Court Theatre

    Original Article Published 24/10/2019

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