WATCH: In celebration of George Harrison's 80th birthday

The All Things Must Pass Orchestra – dedicated to the music of the late great George Harrison – celebrate their tenth anniversary in the year which would have seen “the quiet” Beatle’s 80th birthday.
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Lead singer Alex Eberhard set the band up in 2012 after listening to the George Harrison tribute concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

“I was watching a DVD of the Concert For George with this big number of musicians taking part and I just thought that I would love to play George Harrison's music but to do it with a big orchestra. I asked some friends that I knew from various jazz scenes and they were up for it straight away. We had the first rehearsal in November 2012 without any backing vocals and it was just great fun. It worked well and in 2013 we had the first little gig at a pub in Brighton. And then the following year we played at Henley-on-Thames which is now very much a fixture for us. It was in Henley that George Harrison lived.”

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The most gigs they have played any year was ten which also happened to be in the year in which Alex’s daughter was born – 2015. This year they are playing six, and the exciting thing for Alex is that included among those six is their first-ever date in Worthing, at the Worthing Pavilion: “I lived in Worthing for about ten years so it's really nice to be able to play there for the first time.”

Alex EberhardAlex Eberhard
Alex Eberhard

The gigs coming up are: Monday, May 22, Brighton Komedia (01273 647100); Thursday, May 25, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing (01903 206206); Friday, May 26, ​​Spring Arts Centre, Havant (023 92472700); and Saturday, May 27, Kenton Theatre (www), Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BP.

Over the years Alex reckons they've probably done around 40 or 50 George Harrison songs: “In a show we will do 21 songs or so and there are some songs that you just simply cannot leave out, songs that are absolute fixtures because everyone wants to hear them and then there are handful of songs that we try to replace and sometimes we do some of the more obscure George Harrison songs that perhaps just the hardcore fans know.” This year they are looking at Vatican Blues and Try Some, Buy Some: “And this year we've got another one that we have never done before that was requested by our bass player who said he would like to sing the lead on George Harrison's Don't Bother Me. It was the first song that George wrote that made it onto a Beatles album.”

As for Alex’s own favourites, they have to include Here Comes The Sun and All Things Must Pass, the title track of his massive early post-Beatles solo album – an album hugely dear to Alex: “I have still got my vinyl copy from 1980 that I brought across from Austria. I would say that's definitely the album that I love the most of all the albums. There is just something so special about it. You feel such an energy behind it and in his writing. I do think it is his best.”

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