Mathew Street in Liverpool is known throughout the world as the street that hosts the Cavern Club where The Beatles played many times early on in their career. It is also the centre for the yearly “International Beatleweek” & hub for other festivals that draw music lovers to Liverpool such as the “Liverpool International Music Festival”. Not only does Mathew Street draw thousands of Beatles tourists every year but it is also a local attraction for party go-ers and shoppers.
The Cavern Club Mathew Street & The Beatles
No. The original club was demolished in 1973 but more than 15,000 of the original bricks were saved and re-used to rebuild the premises slightly further up the street and using the same plans in 1982.
The new club still occupies about 75% of the first original club but has been excavated deeper than the original. This creates an extra flight of stairs to descend for visitors.
The Beatles first played the Cavern Club 21st February 1961. At the time The Cavern was a Jazz club and only allowed rock ‘n roll at a lunchtime as most people would leave once rock ‘n roll started to play.
The Beatles began a long series of resident nights later that year beginning 2nd August 1961 after they returned from their first session in Hamburg.
The Cavern opened in January 1957 by Alan Sytner who modelled the club on a Parisian cellar jazz club that he had been to some time earlier.
It was a fruit cellar for storing commercial trade in. Mathew Street was once a busy thorough fare for goods leaving the port once they had left the ships. Cellars and warehouses where built along the route to store these wares in, the Cavern Club was one such place.
In 1973 British Rail began building a new underground railway which enforced closure of the club so they could build a ventilation shaft and a car-park above it. The warehouses above were demolished and the cellar itself was filled with rubble (but not destroyed) until it was excavated and re-opened in April 1984. The underground train ventilation shaft itself was never built.
Mathew Street FAQ
Mathew Street (as opposed to Matthew Street) is so called after former agricultural landowner Mathew Pluckington.
Mathew Pluckington owned a dirt track that linked North John Street and Stanley Street when Liverpool was a major shipping centre in the 1700’s.
This alley was a very valuable thoroughfare for commercial transport of fruit and other imports.
Rows of warehouses were built along the route to house these goods. The street was at first called “Pluckington Alley” and later was renamed to “Mathew Street” after it’s owner.
The Liverpool Wall of Fame is a tribute wall opposite the Cavern Club. It contains discs engraved with the names of acts from Liverpool who have had a number 1 hit. The wall was unveiled on 14th March 2001.
No it has evolved to cope with the high numbers of people who flock to the city each year. The Liverpool International Music Festival is held in Sefton Park and features music from modern acts such as Basement Jaxx, Trevor Nelson, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Tim Westwood.
There is also the International Beatleweek Festival which is more in keeping with the original Mathew Street Festival and features music from the Beatles, videos, talks and a convention. The International Beatleweek Festival is spread throughout the city and is held late in August.