Review By Tatum Stafford
Thanks to their catchy melodies, creative use of instruments and undeniable authenticity, the Beatles are one of the greatest bands of all time. The Beatles Songbook, performed solely by local musician Stewart Herbertson, is a perfect tribute to this band of pop icons.
Throughout the hour of songs, Stewart took us on a musical and historical journey, weaving interesting facts about the band’s songwriting process, collaboration techniques and friendship throughout the years of their success. Kicking off with the classic “I Saw Her Standing There”, the mood was immediately set for a night of nostalgia and toe-tapping tunes.
Stewart carries the show with grace and seasoned showmanship – and above all, his incredible talent shines through. He masters tricky passages on intricate guitar lines in “Here Comes The Sun” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” with absolute ease.
The show itself is filled with Beatles classics (alongside a few of Stewart’s personal favourites), but one of the most commendable qualities about it are the facts we learned about this formidable band along the way. It was such a treat to hear ‘behind the scenes’ stories about some of the Beatles’ biggest hits – one I’ll take away from the show is that they were always quick to give each other credit for sections of songs that other band members wrote.
This storytelling technique was a really interesting and unique way to present these classic songs, and demonstrated Stewart’s clear passion for the band and also, for music in general. As an ex-music student myself, I was particularly interested to hear his musings about chord progressions and different techniques and instruments the Beatles used when making music – both of which were quite progressive for the time.
This show is a perfect showcase of Stewart’s talent, showmanship and passion for music history. And trust me, you’re guaranteed to have a smile on your face and a few Beatles earworms in your head as you make your way out of the theatre.