Peter Asher
Peter Asher
Peter Asher

DOWNTOWN — When dusk sets on Downtown Santa Monica this Saturday, the air will be filled with music from what is arguably the most famous rock band in the world.

In a concert that will end the first night of Santa Monica’s celebration of BritWeek, Denny Laine, Terry Sylvester and their band will perform the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album from start to finish.

Hosting the event will be Peter Asher, most known for being a part of musical duo Peter & Gordon. Asher, a Malibu resident, has been involved with BritWeek “since the beginning,” and said he was “delighted” to be hosting the concert this year.

“I’m looking forward to the whole thing,” he said.

The concert is a part of Santa Monica Spring Jubilee Celebrates BritWeek, a two-day spring festival celebrating the season and British culture. Keith Putney, president of Keith Putney Productions, organized the concert.

“This is really probably the best encapsulation, if you will, of just how important British culture has been across the world,” Putney said of BritWeek.

The concert, as well as all of the events during the British-themed weekend, will be free.

“I think it’s great that it’s free because for people who aren’t that familiar, for people who are just hoping to kind of get a taste of maybe what they’ve been missing,” Putney said, “this provides an opportunity to do that.”

Santa Monica is no stranger to ex-pats. It is home to several British pubs and a weekly newspaper focusing on the motherland. The concentration of ex-pats, who once numbered in the thousands, has helped Santa Monica earn the title of “Little Britain.”

Laine, co-founder of the Moody Blues and Wings; Sylvester, former member of The Hollies; and Asher will also be performing songs from their days as musicians.

“I think that all three of the main artists … couldn’t get off the stage — the people would be highly disappointed — if they didn’t play the big hits from each of those acts that brought them to fame in the first place,” Putney said.

This year marks the first time that BritWeek will be on the West Coast. Asher thinks there is no better place for it than in the city by the sea.

“I’d much rather be in Santa Monica than, say, Hollywood,” he said. “I think that’s the perfect place for it.”

A wide variety of entertainment will be available to attendees of the Spring Jubilee, including street performers, dancing, comedy, guest speakers, and more. Mayor Pam O’Conner is also scheduled to judge an eco-friendly garden vignette competition. The event will span across three blocks of the Third Street Promenade and the center plaza of Santa Monica Place.

“I just hope a good time will be had by all,” Asher said.

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