Last night, I attended the inaugural Candlelit Beatles show by Ignite Concerts, and what a night it was. The promised ambiance of a thousand flickering candles set the stage and the atmosphere for the show that was to come.
The evening began with Alistair Griffin, front man for Ignite Concerts both on and off the stage, who treated us to a selection of acoustic gems from the Paul McCartney songbook. As the chords of “Golden Slumbers” and “I Will” filled the air, it was clear that Beatles aficionados in the audience were already singing along.
Then, Griffin introduced the Ebor Quartet, and that’s when the blue touch paper was truly lit. Their reimagined Beatles classics, including “All You Need Is Love,” “In My Life,” “8 Days a Week,” and “Eleanor Rigby,” were delivered with impeccable musicianship that left the audience hanging on their every note. Smiles and sing-alongs abounded, culminating in a rousing rendition of “Hey Jude” that had everyone on their feet.
But the surprises didn’t end there. Alistair Griffin returned to the stage for a unique interpretation of “She Loves You,” which he humorously dubbed his “John Lewis Christmas advert pitch.” While I’ve often found such things a tad dreary, Griffin’s take on this Lennon and McCartney staple was clever and evocative. Complemented by the Ebor Quartet he changed the song completely with a high falsetto and slower rhythm. A risk but it paid off. Perhaps we can expect it to grace the Marks and Spencer’s Christmas ad in 2023?
The evening continued with “Across the Universe,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” and “Saw Her Standing There,” captivating the crowd, their feet tapping and voices singing. With the emotional Long and Winding Road I definitely saw a few tears and it seemed the night had reached it’s emotional peak. However, Ignite Concerts saved the best for last, delivering an emotionally charged rendition of “Let It Be.” Tears welled in the eyes of many, as the song’s timeless message washed over the audience, evoking memories and emotions that transcended generations.
Ignite Concerts has conjured something truly captivating with their candlelit shows. The candlelit atmosphere, as even this old cynic must concede, adds an extra layer to the musical experience. When combined with the extraordinary talents of the Ebor Quartet and Alistair Griffin’s transformation from a friendly host to a heartstring-tugging singer, what emerges is a profoundly special musical event.