The spirit of Beatlemania lives on thanks to the fabulous Bootlegs ...

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The Bootleg Beatles

Victoria Theatre, Halifax

Tuesday, April 17

From their beginnings back in 1980, The Bootleg Beatles have become a star attraction all over the world with their excellent recreations of Fab Four songs, writes Martin Hutchinson.

The original West End hit show ‘Beatlemania’ ended in 1980 and the four musicians who made up the band believed they could go on to fill a gap, and continue to perform the Lennon and McCartney hits. That was 38 years ago!

When they played at Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s 50th birthday party, they met George Harrison who told them “you probably know the chords better than I do.”

Even George Martin, the legendary Beatles’ producer said they put on “a terrific show”.

‘Original’ John Lennon, Neil Harrison left the band in 2011 and his place was taken by Adam Hastings, a 27-year-old Geordie. He explains how he got the job: “I’d been doing Beatles’ music before, in the US, England and Germany. When I found out that Neil was leaving I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring.

“The problem was that I was aways touring at the time and couldn’t attend the auditions; so I sent a tape in. When I got back, I found that it was between me and another bloke and I got the nod.”

He then prepared meticulously. “That’s right. I watched everything I could with John Lennon, picking up his style of playing and stage mannerisms.”

Beatles music has endured over 50 years now, and Adam knows why: “It’s a simple answer really, it’s the best – there’s no other way of looking at it. It was a magic thing, they were the best songwriters, amazing singers and each member of the band had a different personality. It was a happy accident – they were unique.” The current line-up of The Bootleg Beatles is Adam as John, Steve White as Paul, Stephen Hill as George and Gordon Elsmore as Ringo Starr. Their show comprises four, sometimes five parts. “Yes, there’s the Mop-Top years and we got Dougie and Gordon Millings who tailored The Beatles clothes from 1963 to 1970 to make the suits.

“Then, there’s the Hard Day’s Night section, followed by Sgt Pepper and the later years in which I wear the famous white suit and a long wig.”

And what about the gaps for wardrobe changes?

“Well, we have it to a fine art now and it only takes about a minute and a half to change, but we also have a multi-media presentation on stage with archive footage setting the scene.”

But does Adam have his favourite parts?

“First of all, there’s my favourite album A Hard Day’s Night. I think it’s the coolest and sounds more ‘Beatle-y’.”

“To play live? I’d have to say I Am The Walrus as it’s got a string section with it – it’s phenomenal.”

2017 was a stand out year for the band. They toured with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’ for some Sgt. Pepper anniversary shows which received rave reviews. And they performed twice at last year’s Glastonbury Festival, including a very special show on the iconic Pyramid Stage!

The Bootleg Beatles will be appearing on April 17 at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax. Tickets are available from 01422 351158.