October 22, 2016

Voice star: The Beatles were my backing band

A SINGER who starred at the Cavern Club with The Beatles as his backing band wowed the audience, but not the judges, on The Voice last night.

Stevie Calrow performed three numbers at the iconic venue in Liverpool back in 1962 with John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison playing behind him.

While the trio went on to find global fame along with drummer Ringo Starr, Stevie continued to gig on the local circuit.

At one time he even had a part in the hit TV show Bread.

Last night millions of viewers saw the veteran crooner perform Frank Sinatra classic Witchcraft in a blind audition on the BBC talent contest.

But none of the coaches – Boy George, Paloma Faith, Ricky Wilson and will.i.am – turned in their chairs to pick him for the next round.

After his audition Stevie, 74, joked about his brush with fame at the Cavern Club: “The Beatles were my backing group, but even my own family didn’t believe me for 50 years.”

He also revealed he once gave an American fan a handwritten set of chord changes by Sir Paul for $10, adding: “They’re probably worth a million quid now.”

He recalled: “The band were always so generous with their time. I used to go and sit in the café and talk politics with John.”

As a teenager he said he and Sir Paul shared bus rides and cigarettes on their way into town.

“I used to go to the Cavern and must have seen The Beatles do about 120 shows,” he said.

“I’d actually been singing in another club with bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers and the club DJ knew me.”

One night he said he was called to the band room by the DJ.

“There’s The Beatles in there and the DJ says, ‘can you go up and sing – these guys can hardly sing, they’ve just had 14 days without a break’.

“So I did two Elvis numbers and a Little Richard song because I knew they loved the early stuff, with the Beatles playing behind me on stage.”

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