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Cavern Club (Liverpool)

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Matthew Street. The Cavern was made famous in the 1960's by the BEATLES, who played here nearly 300 times between March 1961 and August 1963.

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    6 Reviews
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      02.09.2010 01:16
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      a true rock shrine

      For those of you who are unaware of the history of The Cavern in rock history, then let me be the one to give you a brief resume of the club's existence. Opening in January 1957, the club was initially to be a jazz venue that was inspired by the jazz clubs of Paris. However, Liverpool wasn't quite the same as Paris and the club soon became a hangout for skiffle bands that became popular in the early 60's. The Cavern has since become synonymous with The Beatles who played there 292 times with their last performance coming at the start of Beatlemania on the 3rd August 1963. The Beatles made the Cavern world famous, but never played there again. In the decade that followed bands like The Who, Queen, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds all played there before becoming massive acts in their own right.

      The Cavern eventually went bust and was closed in 1973 and filled in ready for an extension to the Merseyrail underground system. That never happened and in 1984 the club was taken over by Liverpool FC player Tommy Smith and rebuilt from scratch to look exactly as it did in its heyday. There is a rumour that the Cavern is in fact not in the same place as it was, but this is untrue - an urban myth if you like. The Cavern now attracts many Beatle fans from over the world and live acts like The Arctic Monkeys and Oasis have since played there in recent times. Beatle McCartney also made an appearance in 1999 affirming the new club's status as a Beatle and rock shrine.


      So what is the club like? I went during Beatle week, an annual festival in the city that happens at the end of August and therefore the club was really full and full of energy and excitement. To get to the club you have to get to Matthews Street which is right in the centre of the city. You enter via a small door and descend around three flights of steps into a small underground bomb shelter almost to see the acts. The club authentically replicates the feel and excitement of the Cavern, but this time it also has a working alcoholic bar (something the original Cavern never had).

      Its not a massive place by any means - about the size of a four average sized garages. It has a medium sized bar and several areas for seating. The stage is tiny, as is the viewing area. But you really get the feel for how bands used to appear back in the day. We went two evenings during Beatle week and saw around 5 or 6 different Beatle tribute bands - some from Japan and Brazil and others from Liverpool- all excellent and helped with the Beatle choir (us) helping them along with all the classics. For the uninitiated, it can be a little strange to think how important this little place is. Some people will go there as tourists and want their pictures taken everywhere, others will go there for the music and we just enjoyed the atmosphere.

      The Cavern was an excellent venue for music both Beatles and otherwise. If you are in Liverpool, then its a definite must visit place. Great!

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        12.02.2010 13:19
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        Cavern - my view

        Th Cavern is a club on Matthew Street in Liverpool, made famous by the Beatles playing there often in the early 1960s, although it has played host to a lot of other famous names too - it was where Beatles manager Brian Epstein first saw the boys.

        The club that stands these days is not the original and has actually moved in location slightly, but it has been made to look as it did in the sixties.

        To get into the Cavern Club (there's a Cavern pub too, so check you're in the right one) you have to go down a few flights of stairs, with the club itself being on the basment, with a bar, some tables, a tiny stage and a few standing areas. It's pretty dark, sweaty and a bit dingy in there. There's a fair bit of Beatles memorabilia around as well as lists of some of the names who have played there. You will struggle to find somewhere to sit so be aware of that. The toilets are not good - bit grotty. The lack of air can make things a bit sweaty. It's authentic sixties though - it must have been very similar back in the Merseybeat days.

        The Cavern regularly has live music, often local bands, covers groups and yes, of course, plenty of Beatles songs get sung! They often have bands in the daytime and it gets pretty full in there, mostly tourists. At ngiht, there are often bands, and the crowd includes more locals. The age range in there is very mixed - teenagers up to people in their sixties - and generally, everyone rubs along together quite well. I have never seen any trouble in there and eveyone joins in having a sing-along. I have taken people in their early 20s and in their 60s there and they have all enjoyed it.

        The quality of bands varies and you do usually have to pay a small entrance fee - usually £1 to £3. I don't think this is too bad though, especially if you stay for a couple of hours.

        Drinks aren't cheap, but they aren't expensive either, considering the touristy nature of the place. Three drinks probably come in at about seven quid but depends what you have.

        I haven't been in the Cavern in the week for years but back in my student days, I used to go and it was fairly typicalweek night fare - cheesy music, cheaper drinks etc. Music on the weekend - if not live - tends to be Beatles, Oasis and so on.

        The Cavern is not an attractive bar and is probably not for you if you're into posh, trendy places but I've always had a good night in there. It's always busy, it's a great place to get some music in the day and I have always found it to have a great atmosphere. I wouldn't go in there every weekend (but then, there's no bar that I would do that!) but it's worth a visit and it's a must for any Beatles fan. I would defintely recommend it but have to take a star off for the loos!

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          15.02.2009 15:37
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          I'm really glad I discovered this place!

          The Cavern Club is the greatest place to go in Liverpool, for a night out, or even a drink in the day.

          It is situated underground, and you have to go down a fair few stairs to get there, but it is well worth it. Once you are in there its like being in an old cellar, with brick arches, and the atmosphere and feel of the place is great.

          The Cavern was originally made famous by the Beatles, who have played there some time ago. It has since hosted live music every night, and is a great place to go and chill listening to some new bands or acoustic sets.

          The drinks are expensive, but you dont mind paying for the quality of the place.

          My favourite thing about the cavern, apart from the live music, is the walls. They fascinate me every time. The bricks on the stage part are all signed by people who have played there, and there are scribbles on the bricks all throughout the place.

          If you are going to Liverpool the Cavern is an essential stop off point.

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          15.07.2007 19:48
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          A must for Beatles fans

          Imagine, a club dedicated to those brave and intrepid explorers of the dark and damp subterranean depths can meet and swap anecdotes of their adventures. And imagination is the closest I'll ever get to descending into the underworld.
          One thing I will descend into though, is the murky world of tenuous links - Imagine, a song written by John Lennon...one quarter of the famous pop combo called The Beatles...who regularly played at a venue in Liverpool called...The Cavern Club. Spooky or what?

          I am not and never was a big fan of The Beatles. Sure, I could appreciate their talent but they just didn't do it for me. Having said that, a visit to Liverpool wouldn't be complete without some Beatle-ish type of overtone.
          So, finding ourselves in the 'Cavern Quarter' of Liverpool on a nippy Saturday afternoon last November, and in need of some liquid fortification, where better to slake the thirst than deep in the bowels of this most famous establishment.

          The present day Cavern Club is not the original, but it's a pretty close replica. There are several myths that surround the cavern, but the truth is that it was rebuilt using the original bricks and on the original site.

          Anyway, enough of myths and mystery, let's step inside...step being a very appropriate word. There are 30 steps down to the club itself so by the time you get there, you're ready for that lovely pint of foaming ale. It's therefore a bit of a disappointment to discover that the choice of beers on offer are limited, and unappetizing to boot. Oh well, bottles of Becks in hand we made our way to wards the stage area and, the club not being overly busy, managed to find a table. There are two stages and two bars but we just settled for the first one we chanced upon.

          The cavern is not really a cavern at all (surprise, surprise) but a cellar although with all the cavernous vaulting it's well named. It's not as big as I imagined, although to be fair, I had never really given much thought to the dimensions before - as I'm frequently informed, size doesn't matter.
          One thing that did strike me was the atmosphere of the place...mostly claustrophobic, but also slightly sweaty and 'ripe'. And this was when the place was decidedly quiet. I could only guess at the steamy, sweaty suffocation when the place is jumping. It's not very large either, apparently the present club occupies 75% of the floor space of the original. Still, in its heyday when the fab four played there over 300 times and attracted huge crowds, and health and safety standards were a little more lax than nowadays, it must have been something else.

          I don't know what goes on there on a regular basis (as I don't go there on a regular basis) but a visit to the website details gig guides etc. However, I can say that there are bands on Saturday afternoons. These aren't big name bands (not to me at least) but the standard of music wasn't too bad although I don't think the acoustics are the Cavern Club's big selling point.

          There's not really much more to be said about The Cavern - as far as I know, they don't serve food, and the drinks on offer are the usual multi-national offerings - they're not too overpriced though, and admission was free.
          The clientele, on that day at least, seemed mainly made up of visitors and tourists rather than the local, music-loving population. Perhaps it's different at other times, who knows.

          A couple of fizzy beers later it was time to go (at my age, I can only stand so much noise and sweat and sticky floors) we climbed those 30 bliddy steps to the fresh, clean air of Matthew St. to be confronted the Wall of Fame directly opposite. This forms the frontage of the imaginatively named Cavern Pub and has the names of the 1801 bands who played the Cavern from 1957-73 etched into individual bricks. We spent quite a while rattling off all the famous names that made their way there. This is also where you'll find a statue of John Lennon for that ubiquitous photo opportunity.

          The Cavern Quarter is not very large, but it's quite interesting with a few shops specialising in Beatle memorabilia. However, considering that the area was pretty busy with tourists probably looking to be parted with their hard-earned, I felt that much more could be done to fleec...accommodate said tourists.

          If you're in central Liverpool, a visit to this area is well worth it even if you're not really interested in the fab four or the Merseybeat era in general. It's located very close to the main shopping area and is well signposted so you haven't really got an excuse not to go, 'ave you chuck?

          ©proxam2007

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            07.10.2000 21:18
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            Anyone who doesn't know The Cavern ,then were have you been? Don't be fooled by there tag, of the place were it all began, if you want to know what it's like to be in the place The Beatles played nearly 300 times then, stand on the carpark next to it, that's were the original Cavern was. Anyway as you know The Cavern is famous for the Beatles, well apart from them, they have had Jimmi Hendrix, The Who, Elton John, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton as just a few famous bands that have played there, for the full list theck out the wall opposite, were the Lennon statue is. You expect from The Cavern what you have seen on t.v. a damp wine cellar, however this is a very popular damp wine cellar. Apart from just being famous for the obvious, The Cavern is now a club again, every saturday afternoon, there are always several bands playing there, all unsigned of course, it is quite easy for any band to get a gig there, and there are always plenty of people watching you play as it's free. And also next door is the bigger stage were McCartney played this year or was it last year, which you can also book. Alcohol is also reasonable, which makes the whole Cavern Experience worth it, so next time your in Liverpool be sure to go to The Cavern. Also noteworthy is the cavern pub opposite, which includes signed instruments by famous people, like Oasis and Bryan Adams

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            05.09.2000 05:23

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            I`m sure I don`t need to explain the history of the Cavern Club - if you have heard of Liverpool then you have heard of the Beatles, and this is where the Beatles started. There is a list of bands who played there on the back wall, which defies belief. The club itself is underground - you go down 6 flights of stairs to get there and then you end up in a tiny little room, with a bar, and a passageway leading through to another room with a bar. Both rooms play differnet types of music, with the first one playing a lot of pop and classics. The second room playsmore modern, dancey stuff, and is just as much fun. The atmosphere is incredible - everyone is just out to have a good time. The only thing I would say is don`t go wearing your best clothes - because it is so far underground and so small it gets a tiny bit "sweaty" towards the end of the night. Expect the walls to get very damp before you leave. The bar isn`t the cheapest in Liverpool, but it is reasonably priced. The bottles are cold and so are the pints, which is the most imoprtant thing really.

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