After three years of success at the Festival of Chichester with his ten-piece George Harrison tribute The All Things Must Pass Orchestra, guitarist/singer Alex Eberhard rings the changes for this year’s festival.

He is bringing his new Beatles trio Cellophane Flowers for a date at the Pallant Suite, Chichester, PO19 1SY on Thursday, July 12 at 8pm. First, they will limber up with a date at the Brighton Fringe Festival, at The Brunswick, Hove on May 31. Alex is promising to interpret The Beatles’ work in a new, refreshing way focusing on the vocals, accompanied by just one guitar. Alex will be joined by singers Lucy Pickering and Rachel Myer to explore the Lennon-McCartney catalogue’s vocal possibilities in a musical journey from Love Me Do to Because and Across The Universe.

As Beatles fans will know, the words Cellophane Flowers come from the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, one of the tracks they will be doing: “We were thinking we might call ourselves Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds because one of our singers is Lucy. But actually there are lots of quirky expressions in that song. We did a secret gig for friends in Brighton, and somebody said we could have called ourselves Marshmallow Pies! I think we might stick with Cellophane flowers!

“I thought of this as a little side project from The All Things Must Pass Orchestra. The original idea was to do a trio with the two backing singers, but that has changed and I am now singing with two new singers. The whole thing has taken on a life of its own. The idea is to really look at the vocals. On the song Blackbird, there is a single lead vocal, but we can harmonise and add in some backing vocals.

“It is just great fun to work with the songs of Lennon and McCartney. We can do things like Across The Universe, songs that I have always loved. It is a good challenge as well. I will be using jazz guitar that runs through with an effects pedal. I will also have an electric guitar, which I will use for things like Paperback Writer. Obviously for songs like Blackbird, it will be a more acoustic sound. It’s a nice challenge to try to incorporate those riffs while still focusing on those vocals.

“Really, it is all the same world as George Harrison. When I was growing up, when I started out as a guitarist, I listened to The Beatles generally. They certainly have the same familiarity. The Beatles songs are so ingrained, especially here in England, into everyone’s lives. We might actually encourage the audience to take part in some way at some point.

“There will be no chronological order, but part of the challenge is that a lot of the early Beatles songs are really short, just two mintues for each song, so I suspect we will be doing close to 30 songs, which is different to the George Harrison songs with The All Things Must Pass Orchestra. There we would usually do 21 songs. Some of the songs, like Isn’t It A Pity, are like six minutes.

“But we will certainly be doing some George Harrison songs. We will be doing I Want To Tell You and Something, but it will be mainly Lennon and McCartney, plus two or three Harrison.

“The great thing is that it is a three-piece and so might be suitable for some of the smaller venues.”

Tickets for the Festival of Chichester are £12; concessions £10. Disabled access.

Forthcoming All Things Must Pass Orchestra dates include: The Komedia, Brighton, July 18; South Street Arts Centre, Reading, July 19; and Blakefest, Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis, September 15.

For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2

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