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Aussies among UK Sgt Pepper celebrations

Press Association logoPress Association 22/03/2017

It was 50 years ago this June and the city of Liverpool is gearing up for the half-century anniversary of perhaps The Beatles' most famous work.

Coloured umbrellas are placed on top of a statue of the Beatles © Provided by Press Association Coloured umbrellas are placed on top of a statue of the Beatles

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which topped the Australian charts for 30 weeks after being released in 1967, will be re-imagined in a series of performances and artworks in May and June.

Among them is Australian-born cabaret performer Meow Meow, who will take on Lovely Rita, Paul McCartney's ode to a Liverpudlian traffic warden.

Elsewhere, luminaries from the worlds of dance, pyrotechnics, music and art will each tackle one of the album's 13 tracks, with the festivities to kick off on May 25 with Pepperland, a new work by Brooklyn's renowned Mark Morris Dance Group.

The Beatles are estimated to be worth STG82 million ($A134 million) to the Liverpool economy every year, and mayor Joe Anderson paid tribute to the role the legendary band had played in the cultural regeneration of the city.

"It's important that we put The Beatles' heritage at the forefront of this particular celebration," he said. "I believe culture is a right, it's not a nice-to-have issue, it should be a right with everything that we do. It's what defines us and who we want to be."

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