Did the Beatles ever play small club gigs outside of Liverpool and Hamburg? In London maybe?

All Beatles fans know that they cut their teeth in the Cavern Club in Liverpool and in shady Hamburg clubs like the Indra and the Star Club. A short time later, they exploded on the international pop scene. During this transition, did they ever play a club gig in Britain or on the continent? I think the continent is more probable because they became popular so fast on the island. OTOH, all the other great British bands of the time had engagements, often weekly, in London clubs like the Marquee and such, the Stones, the Yardbirds, you name it. I never read an extensive Beatles band history, though I’ve seen the whole Beatles Anthology documentary (I have it on DVD), but I’ve only known about concerts in larger theaters or even in stadiums in the US after they became famous. If you know otherwise, please chime in.

Wikipedia’s got a list of all the Beatles live performances. Not knowing British geography, I don’t know how Liverpool adjacent their early gigs were, but their first London performance was December 9, 1961 at the Gardenia Club.

Great link, thanks! That answers it, there’s at least one other club listed, at the Oasis Club 1962 in Manchester. I’m still not through the whole list, but I think that settles my question.

ETA: oh yes, also the Gardenia Club gig you mentioned, I missed that, sorry.

Perhaps, but they don’t get talked about much.

Sure, but that’s a pity. Going through the list of Beatles concerts, I see that they played hundreds of gigs from 1961-63 all over Britain, and I would love to hear from witnesses how they experienced the Beatles in the Shrewsbury Concert Hall on 14 December 1962, to pick a random example. There must be ten thousands of people still alive who saw these concerts.

I’m pretty sure my mum saw them in some provincial backwater, back in the day. Thought it was Worcester or Hereford, but couldn’t spot those on the list. I’ll ask her when I see her on Monday (though I know she was more of a Stones gal).

I watched a documentary about Paul and Linda during the years after the Beatles breakup.

They lived on a farm that helped Paul rest and reflect. He began writing the first Wings album and played most of the instruments. The documentary included a lot of home movies showing life on the farm. Paul played with the kids, rode horses, and lived a more normal life.

I found their first tour very interesting. Paul and his family traveled around England in a bus. It was very informal. Paul wanted Linda on keys. They would stop at Universities and talk with the Student Activities Director. Can we setup and play in the Student Union?

Paul seemed to enjoy that experience. It was completely opposite from the isolation and loneliness in the Beatles. It didn’t last long. Wings became successful and soon booked arenas.

I would love to read interviews of students that saw Wings during that early tour. It had to be pretty exciting. I’ve wondered if Paul was able to hang out and talk with the fans.

That is a really interesting list.

I note, for example, that most of their gigs were in the Liverpool area, with a number in Hamburg; but one of the first gigs they played outside Liverpool with Ringo Starr was in Lydney, in the Forest of Dean; a tiny, sleepy forest town at the edge of England going into Wales.

Also, on 8 April 1963 the Beatles played at Leyton Swimming Baths, a few hundred yards away from my childhood home; the pool could be covered by a temporary floor, apparently, allowing the Beatles (and on another date the Rolling Stones) to play there. My sister saw the Stones, but she didn’t like the Beatles.

By this time the Beatles had at least two singles and an album out.

From that list, it looks like their club shows were pretty much behind them by the time they recorded their first album. The first half a of 1963, most of their gigs were as part of showcase tours with other artists playing fairly large dancehalls, theaters, and resorts. The only consistent club performances in 1963 were at the Cavern which saw it’s last Beatles performance in August. I think it’s safe to say that 99% of the Beatles’ London club experience was as members of the audience.

Paul returned to the “new” Cavern Club* for a gig in 1999 with a band that included David Gilmour and Ian Paice. The show is on youtube, definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan.

*reconstructed in basically the same location after the original building was demolished

I’ve come across a lot of YouTube vids of performances at the new Cavern. No matter the band or genre there is always an obligatory Beatles cover. Often several.

Remember, London was a four-hour train trip from Liverpool. Thats too far for a one-off concert. Indeed, one reason Decca turned them down was the travel expenses for any A&R rep who wanted to meet with them or see the act.

Brian Poole and the Tremolos, who they signed instead, were based in London.