10 December 2015
Reviewed by Norman Totton
The Fab Four live again, or at least their doppelgangers do in the shape of The Bootleg Beatles. I saw the Bootlegs twenty-five to thirty years ago at the ‘Talk of the North’, a club in Eccles, Salford, now sadly demolished. They were fantastic then and they are fantastic now. Their set has become bigger with a montage of 60’s and 70’s video clips playing on the large screen behind them, a small but very able orchestra to assist on some songs and costume changes to reflect the different musical eras The Beatles went through in their heyday.
The Bootleg Beatles have been through a number of changes of personnel since their first public showing in front of a small audience of students in Tiverton Devon. That means that the band members I saw all those years ago have moved on to be replaced by other talented musicians who have stayed true to the original ethos of The Bootleg Beatles. The current line-up is:
Adam Hastings (John Lennon) Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard, Harmonica (2011–present)
Steve White (Paul McCartney) – Bass, Vocals, Keyboard (2012–present)
Stephen Hill (George Harrison) – Guitar, Vocals (2014-present)
Hugo Degenhardt (Ringo Starr) – Drums, Percussion, Vocals (2003–present)
Each of these musicians is a true professional and their ability to recreate the unique sounds of Paul McCartney, John Lennon et al is uncanny.
The band started the evening with ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, followed by other songs from the early days including ‘Please Please Me’, ‘Love Me Do’ and She Loves You’. Moving on a couple of years we then had ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Paperback Writer’, ‘Day Tripper’ among others. The Psychedelic era was ushered in with songs including ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘I Am The Walrus’. Later songs such as ‘Revolution’, Across The Universe’ (a personal favourite of mine!), ‘Hey Jude’, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ were all performed with the same energy, verve and professionalism that the band displayed throughout the concert and was in keeping with the enthusiasm I remember from the The Bootleg Beatles I saw all those years ago.
If you want to go to a concert that’s fun, has lots of interaction between the band and the audience, brings back good memories and will leave you humming The Beatles tunes as you make your way to the exit and then home, then I urge you to take the time out to see The Bootleg Beatles.
As ever, many thanks to the management and staff of St. Georges’ Hall, Bradford, for their helpfulness and professionalism in staging another wonderful night’s entertainment. Getting to the Hall is easy as it is well served for bus, train and cars. You can park at a subsidised rate at the NCP car park a few metres away, just ask for details at the Hall.
I have no hesitation in awarding The Bootleg Beatles 5 out of 5.
The Bootleg Beatles are currently on tour, for more information and tour dates visit www.bootlegbeatles.com.
For other shows at St George’s Hall in Bradford visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk.
St George’s Hall. Bridge St, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1JT | 01274 432000