There was a spark going round.

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“I thought they were a scruffy load of louts. Lennon was wearing leather jacket, jeans and cowboy boots, hair quiffed. Same with McCartney. We were wearing V-necked red sweaters. They just looked so confident, and rock’n’roll. They had a sex appeal that us, in our V-necked jumpers, just didn’t. The first thing I noticed [when The Beatles started playing] was the noise. Pete Best playing fours on the bass drum. I thought Hang on, he’s not doing it like you’re trained to. It was so powerful. They’d just turned up everything louder. They did Long Tall Sally, Red Sails In The Sunset … The audience were dancing, then suddenly they stopped. There was a spark going round. You could feel it. There was a slow movement towards the stage. People just stood and watched. Boys and girls, just stood there, watching this band jumping on chairs, doing Chuck Berry stuff backwards and forwards across the stage, absolute crackers. Suddenly you realised, there something happening here. A generation’s moving. You can either jump on it, or watch it go by.” (John McNally, guitarist and vocalist of Johnny Sandon and The Searcher, talking about the show on December 27, 1960, at Litherland Town Hall Ballroom, near Liverpool)

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