Wha's like us… The Melotones

'LOVE Me Do' had just made the charts and 'Please Please Me' would soon propel a Liverpudlian four-piece to super-stardom but 4 January 1963 was a hard day's night for The Beatles.

The band rolled into Dingwall in a green Volkswagen van ready to take the Highlands by storm, but a mere 47 people turned up. Only 19 stayed until the end. Meanwhile, in nearby Strathpeffer, a 1,200-strong crowd watched local sensations The Melotones.

Forty-eight years on, Dingwall Business Association traced the hardy 19 who stuck with The Beatles that night. At a reunion last week the reviews were mixed. "You could tell they were disappointed at the turnout," said one. "They were brilliant and chatted between songs," said another. One said he thought the young band from Liverpool was "crap".

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For John, Paul, George and Ringo, the rest is history. The Melotones didn't go on to achieve anything like the same status but they can boast they were bigger than The Beatles - for one night at least.