It’s decades since the Bea­tles graced stages around the world but this su­per trib­ute band is de­light­ing fans by re­liv­ing those heady times

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS - SHIREEN KHALIL

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.

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