Formed from the Broadway musical ‘Beatlemania’ the Bootleg Beatles career began in March 1980 in front of a small gathering of inebriated students at a college function in Tiverton Devon. Giving themselves “six months max” work slowly began to dribble in. More colleges, social clubs, the odd corporate event and then, out of the blue, a 60-date tour of The Soviet Union! Suddenly things were looking a little more permanent. More tours quickly followed. Israel, The Far East, the Middle East, India, then in Feb 1984, America-an invitation to commemorate the Fab Four initial US tour, twenty years earlier. It seemed there was a global market for ‘Beatles played live’
Although the band gained great popularity internationally throughout the 80’s, in Britain they still remained a virtual secret, so in 1990 ‘a profile building experiment’ was instigated. Ten public shows were booked (in theatres, town halls and clubs) each venue in a city mirroring those of the Beatles last ever UK tour in ’65. Audiences were small but enthusiastic, and so another tour was booked immediately for the following year. This proved more popular and as each year went by so crowds grew, the tours expanded, and the venues got larger.
It was on one of these tours (At Southampton Guild Hall actually) that the BB’s caught the attention of fellow Gold Beatle anoraks Oasis, and found themselves supporting the mega Brit pop band at Earls Court the following summer. It was a terrific boost, which broadcast them to a brand new contemporary audience and even gave them a certain ‘cred’ in the rock media. It also launched them onto the premier European Festival circuit where to date they have shared stages with Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, The Corrs, Manic Street Preachers, and Iggy Pop. The band have also played on the rooftop of 3 Savile Row, London, former residence of the Beatles’ Apple Corps company, recreating the Beatles final public live performance which took place on the same rooftop.
Now the appetite for ‘Beatles played live’ and The BB’s seems as insatiable as ever. Even the queen booked them for her Jubilee party at Buckingham Palace!
‘sheer technical perfection’ Evening Standard
‘this is make-believe land where four characters actually become The Beatles’ Liverpool Echo
‘the band are as similar to their namesakes as it is possible to be… unlike any other group in the last 25 years of rock, they can safely say that they look and sound as good as The Beatles’ NME
‘a brilliant show’ Nottingham Evening Post
‘each song is delivered with note by note precision’ Edinburgh Evening News