The Analogues stunned Essen with their Abbey Road Tour

Photo (c) Armelle van Helden

The Netherlands had outgrown the Analogues for a long time, and so the men already had successful trips abroad with their huge Beatles projects even back then in the pre-Corona period. The Nativity scene, which is the origin of her musical love (or slight obsession?) has also been granted a (very successful) visit on the Mersey.

This time the Gruga Halls in Essen, which are certainly not unknown in pop music circles, were on the schedule. The hall was more than three quarters and therefore well filled with enthusiastic lovers. On this Friday evening, they had found their way through the Ruhr area for the Analogues “Abbey Road” tour and had crossed several zebra crossings for an evening to taste Liverpool’s finest (after all, the local soccer club Rot-Weiss Essen aren’t that successful these days).

The constant ringing of a mobile phone in one of the front rows of the hall, biting a whopping three times at the beginning of the show, was the only dissonance of the evening. The grey mid-sixties man didn’t even hear the ringtone, which also included CCR’s “Bad Moon Risin’,” and had to be pointed out by other visitors, who casually told him to turn off his cell phone anyway, saying they didn’t want to have their evening be bewitched by the melody if the caller tries again.

The “Abbey Road” tour is set up a little differently than, for example, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “The White Album” tour version, both of which were staged by The Analogues in previous years.

The recording of “Abbey Road” was the “last fling” for the Beatles, who finally managed to shed their mutual irritations and even egos in the summer of 1969. That way, the energy could flow into the creation of a masterpiece instead of making each other’s lives even sourer than they needed to be at the time.

The Analogues repeated this rather large footnote in pop music history by not saying a word about anecdotes about the origins of the songs or the use of the instruments and other objects throughout the set before the break. The anvil, for example, which according to Analogues member Bart van Poppel makes no sound at all, but which was nevertheless pulled onto the stage in “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”. The anvil was really hit 18 times fully and he made his mark!

As planned, the Abbey Road album was played integrally in its entirety, nothing more, but that was more than enough. It is an attempt to get closer to the atmosphere in the recording studio in 1969 in order to get as close as possible to the reality of the time. That was the original thought and interpretation of the Analogues and this number really hit the spot. The full, uncomplicated rendition of Abbey Road provided an opportunity to confirm what we already knew, brilliance coupled with a leap forward in a time machine. Not only the use of the latest equipment and instruments but also craftsmanship was essential.

Yes, even before the recording of “Abbey Road” other paths were trodden by the Beatles and found a climax in the cross-over between classical and pop music, decades before the term came up. As is well known, this gave “Elenor Rigby” a prominent place in music history.

Capturing more experimental yet sophisticated songs, The Abbey Road Recordings is also the album that sees the two Popes; John and Paul gave their blessings to songs that sprang from the creativity of their musical subordinates. Both “Something” and “Here Comes The Sun” by George and “Octopus’s Garden” by Ringo were not only tolerated but in retrospect are almost sacred and far more than just three ingredients on the album. It’s the exponent, for those who hadn’t realized, that the four were more than the sum of the parts.

“Golden Slumbers” and the medley that closes the album, including “Her Majesty” of course, provided a full conclusion to the set. A “thank you” and “back in 20 minutes” were the first words that came out and were not on the record.

After the break, the costumes remained in the booth with Analogues and some supplementary explanations were given of the songs the Analogues had chosen from the Beatles’ rich body of work to complete the show. “One After 909” was a surprising and refreshing choice. A lesser-known but quintessential Beatles song written by John in 1957 but came out really full in 1969 during the famous Apple building roof concert and turned out to be catchy as hell but hey we only know that now 50 years later in retrospect.

Analogue drummer Fred Gering mentioned the Beatles’ last formal convulsions and the completion of their songs in early 1970 for the later-released “Let It Be” album. The album cover of “Abbey Road” already showed that the Beatles carried themselves to their graves in 1969. After that, around March – April 1970, it was finally “End” so low. Until the guys from the Analogues would start their mega job, now more than 7 years ago, to play everything live and for an audience. With the prospect of a future, the band has now attempted to follow up their musical score with a self-released album, Introducing the Analogues Sideshow. But none of that was mentioned that Friday night, the whole focus was 100% on the Beatles.

The show was offered a worthy conclusion and with the songs that were still on the program such as “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Helter Skelter”, the hall in Essen was also filled with a rich buffet full of musicality, full of craftsmanship and enthusiasm. Small detail, and noticeable; the German audience gave a well-deserved open hand to the horn section during the performance of “Penny Lane”. It is these many aspects that, together with all their commitment, make the Analogues special in what they have pursued and achieved.

During the encore songs, the band members even took off their jackets and were still sweating. After a phenomenal version of “A Day In The Life” they closed with “Revolution”, the song that in the title, content but above all zeitgeist in everything indicates: The Beatles gave the world their own way, and with it, the world Upside down before the world even knew.

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