The earliest known full recording of The Beatles playing a live concert in the UK has been unearthed after 60 years, BBC News reports. It's of their performance at Stowe boarding school in Buckinghamshire on April 4, 1963, which was just weeks after The Beatles had released their debut album Please Please Me. The band was booked by one of the show's students, David Moores, who had seen them play in Hamburg and had written to Beatles manager Brian Epstein to book them, and fellow student John Bloomfield--who was 15 at the time--recorded their hour-long performance to quarter-inch tape and kept it in the vault until now.

The only people Bloomfield has shown the full recording to so far are Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn and journalist Samira Ahmed for a special program on the concert for Radio 4's Front Row. Lewisohn told the BBC, "The opportunity that this tape presents, which is completely out of the blue, is fantastic because we hear [The Beatles] just on the cusp of the breakthrough into complete world fame. And at that point, all audience recordings become blanketed in screams."

"So here is an opportunity to hear them in the UK, in an environment where they could be heard and where the tape actually does capture them properly, at a time when they can have banter with the audience as well," he continues. "I hope something good and constructive and creative eventually happens to it."

In 2020, the school put up a plaque to commemorate The Beatles' performance there, and at the time, Paul McCartney said, "Good old working class boys like us had never visited an establishment like Stowe and we were shocked to see the stark living conditions."

Meanwhile, you can hear parts of the recording now--including songs from Please Please Me, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business," stage banter, and song requests from the crowd--at BBC Sounds.

In other Beatles news, their Red and Blue greatest hits albums turned 50 over the weekend, and Rob Sheffield celebrated with a 50th anniversary piece for Rolling Stone. Pick up Beatles vinyl, books, and merch here.

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