THOSE FAB DAYS ARE BACK
It’s decades since the Beatles graced stages around the world but this super tribute band is delighting fans by reliving those heady times
You can hardly tell them apart. They’ve got everything down pat from costumes, mannerisms to vocals. Even the wigs replicate the Beatles’ hair and, funnily enough, they cost more than the costumes.
The Bootleg Beatles are the most successful and longestrunning Beatle tribute band and they’re coming to the Gold Coast this weekend as part of an Australian tour, which also the Beatles’ 50-year anniversary of coming to Australia.
Andre Barreau, who replicates George Harrison on stage, says a lot of time and preparation goes into mimicking the band.
“When we started out (in 1979) we only had films, no VHS – we had to rely on seeing their films in the UK at an odd cinema in London, but nowadays you’ve got YouTube,” Barreau says.
The Bootleg Beatles revisit the early days of the Beatles with songs such as I Should Have Known Better.
“We are lucky to (pay tribute) to a band that has more than 225 amazing songs – even if you don’t do a hit, people will still know it,” Barreau says.
Based in the UK, Barreau is joined by Adam Hastings as John Lennon, Hugo Degenhardt as Ringo Starr and Steven White as Paul McCartney.
Having shared the stage with the likes of Oasis, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Bon Jovi, the Bootleg Beatles have even performed at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebration at Buckingham Palace.
White says the past decade has been an honour for him.
“When I was playing in a ’60s choir band all those years ago, I never thought I would get the call to fill in as the McCartney role for the Bootleg Beatles. Then, out of nowhere, I was made a permanent member,” he says.
“I grew up listening to the Beatles and became more fascinated with them while I was studying at college.
“I found myself playing all their records, dressing like them and really wanting to be them. Now all these years later, I am kind of like them.”
White says he still finds it “quite unbelievable” that he’s part of the long-lasting tribute band.
“Playing at the Glastonbury Festival and at Wembley Stadium were two pretty surreal moments for me,” he says.
“We are constantly trying to create an authentic experience for our audiences by dressing in costume, using original instruments and performing note-perfect lyrics.
“We just hope they feel like we are the real deal without being the real deal.
“The Beatles are, after all, one of most – if not the most – influential acts in rock history.” The Bootleg Beatles, Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, tomorrow night.
The Bootleg Beatles have performed at Buckingham Palace – now they’re heading to Twin Towns.