I’m quite amazed that it took me so long to visit Liverpool. That said, we’re not massive city break people (unless it’s New York). You can sometimes spend as much in one weekend in the UK than a week in Spain – and I know what I’d much rather do! Anyway, that’s by the by. This January we found ourselves in Liverpool for a quick break and of course that meant having to pay a visit to the Cavern Club – the once infamous home of the Beatles.
So, here’s everything you need to know before you go:
The Cavern Club opened in 1957 initially as a jazz club, but quickly became the centre of the music scene in Liverpool in the late 50s and early 1960s. The club then, obviously, became closely associated with The Beatles, who regularly played there in their early years.
Today it’s still a thriving music venue, still hosting new talent, as well as becoming somewhat of a shrine to not only Liverpool’s greatest exports; the Beatles, but to all the other huge bands that played their on their early days like The Who, Oasis, Travis and the Arctic Monkeys.
It’s useful to know upfront that if you want to visit the club just to have a look around and a drink it’s £2.50 entry per person if you don’t have a ticket for a show. At first I thought that was stingy but actually once you get inside, it’s understandable since it would be absolutely rammo all day if people were just allowed to wander in, take their pictures then leave without buying anything.
The club is split into two areas; the original club – where the Beatles would regularly take the stage in front of the famous cavernous arches which gave the club it’s name – this area has no seating. There’s also the lounge area, which is slightly bigger and a has a bit more seating – reminiscent of a social club – but much cooler. And of course there memorabilia everywhere for you to look at.
We were there on the Saturday night which meant to resident Beatles tribute band were playing in the lounge (on the Friday night they play in the club – for the ultimate authentic experience!). Tickets were £20 which gained you entry to the club and the show starts at around 9pm. I would say pre booking your ticket is essential as it’s was jam packed when we were there so not sure you’d be able to just buy a ticket on the night.
Whilst there is seating in the Lounge, it’s limited and you can’t reserve any unless you have accessibility issues so I would recommend getting there early if you want a seat. There is food available in the Cavern Restaurant before the show if you wanted to make an evening of it but would recommend booking that too as it gets really busy at weekends.
The in house Beatles tribute act are absolutely brilliant and encapsulate the personas on the band members perfectly. Set list wise, all the hits are present and correct and they go through the 2 hour show in semi chronological order. By the end of the night almost everyone was on their feet singing along to Let it Be and Hey Jude – it was like being at St James Park on a match day. Needless to say, well worth the £20 ticket fee.
Drinks prices were really reasonable which for some reason surprised me, I would have thought with a captive audience they could charge whatever they wanted but at just over a tenner for a pint and a large glass of wine it was no more expensive that your average pub in town. There was a decent selection of beer of tap too so weren’t just limited to cheap lager.
If you’re in Liverpool and fancy a great night out then I can highly recommend The Cavern Club and it’s certainly something I would do again and again – it’s worth a visit even if you’re not seeing a show to be honest!