I never cease to be surprised and amazed by just how good The Beatles were; an opinion that was firmly reiterated and refreshed last night, when watching the new film documenting their touring years, 'Eight Days a Week'.
Their story is something I grew up with, studying and obsessing over it since the age of ten. They were a source of comfort and inspiration to me as an only-child, like four friends or brothers I could look up to and turn to whenever I needed them. They made me want to be a musician, songwriter and - indirectly - a comedian, thanks to their natural knack for humour and the fact they seemed to be having so much fun.
While I’ve always been more attuned to their later material, I have a lot of respect for their early stuff as well, plus a sense of incredulousness at how quickly they matured and grew. One thing that’s often overlooked, though, is their ability as a live act, particularly when considering their primitive equipment and the fact they could seldom hear themselves play. Ron Howard’s new film firmly underlines this, thanks to its wonderfully restored and remastered sound. McCartney’s bass packs a surprising punch considering the source material, that drives the whole thing along; merging and matching the energy of Ringo’s drums, restating something that’s often forgotten: The Beatles’ rhythm section was shit-hot.
Admittedly, there wasn’t much new to be learnt for the non-casual fan, but this doesn't stop you from enjoying the retelling. What matters most, anyway, is the music, which was great throughout. The best bit was watching John and Paul sharing a mic on I Saw Her Standing There and Baby’s in Black; I don't think anything will ever match the urgency and excitement of the sound that came from the back of their throats.