A musical mystery tour

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the streets of Liverpool, without running into the Fab Four being pursued by gaggles of screaming teenagers, the International Beatles Festival is upon us once again. There are bound to be enough lookalikes down in Cavern Country to keep even the most ardent fan happy, with appearances from a feast of impersonators here, there and everywhere. Next Friday night, in Central Hall, Cavern will be rolling back the years, supported by, er, Lenny Pane from Sweden and Sgt Pepper from Brazil... Followed on Saturday lunchtime, at the Cavern Club, by the big attraction of this year's festival - The Backbeat Beatles, featuring cast members from the film. If you're just a day-tripper, then Monday is the day to come, with the third annual Mathew Street Music Festival carrying on all day in the Cavern Quarter. There will be 35 different stages, including one floating around in the middle of Albert Dock, playing host to 104 live bands (fortunately not all Beatles quartets). In fact there will be a bit of everything on the day including, bizarrely, a Town Hall tea dance with the Chinese Youth Orchestra. The festival comes to a close at 8pm, which gives you just half an hour to get to Central Hall for, you've guessed it, a little more twist and shout. This final concert features the most well-known Fab Four pretenders of all, The Bootleg Beatles, to bring you to the end of the long and winding road, that is rock 'n' roll.

The Beatles International Festival, 24-29 Aug; The Mathew Street Music Festival, 28 Aug (0151-236 9091)

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