16 April 2024

REVIEW: Something About George – The George Harrison Story

By Sam Hawcroft

George Harrison is often dubbed “the quiet Beatle” – but this touring production set out to prove that he was anything but.

Led by Liverpool-born stage star Daniel Taylor and an extremely talented band, Something About George: The George Harrison Story took the Hull Truck audience, for one night only on March 13, through the musician’s life after the break-up of the Beatles in 1970.

Against a big screen that was variously showing abstract imagery or archive film from the era, Daniel narrated the story clearly and passionately – with no use of scripts or prompts – telling how Harrison had become increasingly frustrated by the lack of freedom of expression during his time in the Beatles. He was only allowed two songs per album, which is astonishing when you consider how many cracking songs he had in his armoury.

These were finally unleashed in his first solo album, All Things Must Pass – a triple-album packed with belters such as My Sweet Lord, What is Life, Isn’t it a Pity and If Not for You.

All these and more were performed with great gusto by Daniel and the band and, although the show focused on Harrison post-Beatles, people might have asked for their money back if it hadn’t included some of his greatest Beatles songs – such as Taxman, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Here Comes the Sun.

The latter was particularly emotive, as it was delivered solo by Daniel – slowly, starkly and hauntingly, after he had told the audience about Harrison’s untimely death from cancer aged just 58 in 2001. It’s a cliché, but you could have heard a pin drop.

But, by and large, this was a celebration of Harrison’s life through his wonderful music, as well as his incredible philanthropy including his 1971 Concert for Bangladesh and, though his company, HandMade Films, financing British films such as Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Withnail and I.

Daniel is a Scouser himself, but this was no tribute act – he put his own stamp firmly on the music, although he did now and then slip into the odd impression of George’s languid accent during his narration, often to comic effect.

The audience were on their feet by the end, dancing to the encore following a richly deserved standing ovation. Unless you’re in Suffolk on Saturday, you missed a treat if you didn’t catch this in Hull, for the tour ends in Felixstowe on March 23.