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Monday 30 March 2015

Setlist from Jan 17, 1963

Memorabilia specialists Tracks has an interesting item for sale, one which gives us a glimpse of what a Beatles concert, two and a half weeks after they had been recorded playing at the Star Club in Hamburg would have been like. A fan has jotted down the titles of the songs the band played at a gig at the Majestic in Birkenhead. The lead singer is also identified, but unfortunately not on the songs the fan was not familiar with. It seems to me that the set list looks like it's a young girl's handwriting. It also looks too neat to have been jotted down at the gig, she probably scribbled down just some abbreviations and later wrote it down properly, probably at home.

The songs are:
  1. Unknown (I Saw Her Standing There - Paul?)
  2. Shimmy Like Kate - John
  3. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - George
  4. P.S. I Love You - Paul
  5. H (unknown) (Honey Don't - John?)
  6. Chains - George
  7. A Taste of Honey - Paul
  8. Please Please Me - no lead vocalist indicated, but it's John's song
  9. Three Cool Cats - George
  10. Unknown (Till There Was You - Paul?)
  11. Anna (Go to Him) - John
  12. Hey, Good Lookin' - George
  13. Hippy Hippy Shake - Paul
  14. Talking 'bout You - John
  15. Devil in her Heart - George
  16. Some Other Guy - John
  17. Ask Me Why - John
  18. Roll Over Beethoven - George
  19. Love Me Do - no lead vocalist indicated, but it's John's song.
This was their second performance that day, as they had also played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool earlier in the day. The "Please Please Me"/"Ask Me Why" single was released just the week before the gig. It's good to have confirmation that George was the lead singer on "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" as well as "Hey, Good Lookin'", George singing around a third of the songs still. The three main singers seem to be alternating at the vocal microphone, The Paul-John-George pattern repeats throughout, except for "Some Other Guy", which John and Paul used to sing in unison anyway. Any guess what the three missing songs might have been? Too early for Ringo to have a "Ringo Starr Time" perhaps? The set list is for sale at £150.00 from Tracks.

Probably the first Beatles single in the world with a picture sleeve,
this is the Danish/Norwegian cover of the Please Please Me single.


Unknown said...

For #5, "H", I'm going to go with Hallelujah, I Love Her So.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara S. said...

Could "H" be for "Hippy Hippy Shake?"

wogew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wogew said...

No, the Hippy Hippy Shake is on the list at no 13, so the fan obviously knew that one. "Hallelujah..." could be, but since that phrase is such an obvious part of the chorus, the fan should have been able to guess the title. Nice to see so many George songs still in the set. And strange that the fan didn't note who sang lead on the songs unknown to him. The fan did note "Some Other Guy", which is a song you might have had trouble figuring out the title to, so it was either familiar to him/her or the Beatles mentioned the song title in their introduction. The "H" doesn't necessarily have to be of significance, I'm tempted to suggest "Till There Was You", but it would have been familiar.. No Ringo songs among the known songs, so I guess one of the unknown ones may have been "Boys".

wogew said...

I suppose "H" could be "Honey Don't", sung by John.

phil overture said...

As Mark Lewisohn points out in his book J, P & G tended to take turns to sing lead. Certainly the majority of this set list is proof to that. I think the 'H' song must be a John lead. Too early in the set for a Ringo song. I'll agree with Roger and go with Honey Don't.

wogew said...

I have updated this post now, with some of our guesswork and other thoughts.

wogew said...

Sorry to reply by e-mail but I don't have one of the id's to post to comments.

I noticed the pattern too and concur that the missing H song was probably one sung by John. I believe this song to be Keep Your Hands Off My Baby (H!). It was only recently added to their repertoire so it would be understandable if the fan was not familiar with it. They recorded it for Saturday Club only 5 days after this show. They also included it in their setlist for the Helen Shapiro package tour a couple of weeks later. Other songs recorded for broadcast during this period were Chains, Some Other Guy and Three Cool Cats, all of which were included in the setlist for Jan 17. Interestingly, another song recorded for the Saturday Club broadcast was Beautiful Dreamer, which was also performed during the Helen Shapiro tour. This may well be one of the missing Paul songs (#10) for all of the exact same reasons. I do agree that I Saw Her Standing There (Seventeen?) is a reasonable candidate for song #1. It had been in their set since at least December in spite of not having a proper title. It seems a bit bold to open the show with an original song that had not yet been recorded, though.