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The Bootleg Beatles are a Beatles tribute band. They have performed over 4,000 times since their establishment in March 1980.[1]

The Bootleg Beatles
The Bootleg Beatles.jpg
The Bootleg Beatles performing on the Dutch television programme Showbizzquiz on 14 October 1981
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresRock music
Years active1980–present
MembersTyson Kelly
Steve White
Stephen Hill
Gordon Elsmore
Past membersAdam Hastings
Hugo Degenhardt
Andre Barreau
David Catlin-Birch
Neil Harrison
Rick Rock
Paul Cooper
Jack Lee Elgood


The band's first performance was at a small student gathering in Tiverton, Devon, England. Following more low-profile gigs, the band performed a 60-date tour of the Soviet Union;[2] further tours followed in Israel, the Far East, the Middle East and India. In February 1984, they were invited to perform in the United States,[3] to commemorate The Beatles' initial US tour 20 years earlier.

UK success continued to prove elusive. In 1990, The Bootleg Beatles booked 10 shows in cities in which the Beatles had performed in their final UK tour in 1965. Audiences were small but enthusiastic, and another tour was booked for the following year. This proved more popular, and as each year went by the crowds grew, the tours expanded, and the venues got larger. Finally, a gig in Southampton caught the attention of Oasis, leading to the Bootleg Beatles supporting the Britpop band at Earls Court and Knebworth. This gave the band a contemporary audience and increased their credibility, launching them onto the premier European festival circuit and shared stages with Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, The Corrs, Manic Street Preachers and Iggy Pop.

On 30 January 1999, the band 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 30 years earlier. In 2009 the band hoped to mark the 40th anniversary by recreating the performance again, but unfortunately health and safety concerns prevented the appearance.[4]

In 2002, the band played at Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace.[5]

2010 saw the band headline the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival, drawing the biggest crowd for 5 years. They also made a number of appearances on BBC television, including The One & Only, The One Show and I'm In a Rock'n'Roll Band, as well as on BBC Radio.[6]

In March 2011, Neil Harrison announced that he was leaving the group.[7] On 18 July, a press release announced his replacement as Adam Hastings, a musician from Newcastle upon Tyne.[8] It was announced in September 2012 that longtime member David Catlin-Birch was leaving the group.[9]

Bootleg Beatles with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at Echo Arena stadium, Liverpool. (13 January 2018)

It was announced that they would perform on the acoustic stage at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival.[10]

Andre's last gig was at Hyde Park in London on 13 July 2014.

In 2017, Professor Nigel Osborne (Edinburgh University) was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to arrange Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for concerts with the Bootleg Beatles performed to capacity crowds at the Royal Albert Hall[11] and Echo Arena Liverpool.[12][13]

Show formatEdit

Typically, each gig consists of performances of songs from four eras. For the 2014 UK Tour, these were:

  • Part One: The Fab Four (1963–1964): "Beatlemania conquers the world"
  • Part Two: Shea Stadium and the final tour (1965–1966): "The end of touring and becoming a studio band"
  • Part Three: Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour (1967): "The psychedelic explosion"
  • Part Four: The Later Years (1968–1970): "The White Album, Abbey Road and the rooftop concert"

During each act, the band would be dressed on these particular costumes:

Part One would usually have a black, grey, or a collarless suit.

Part Two would contain the Shea Stadium jacket or the Nippon Budokan suit.

Part Three would have the Sergeant Pepper costumes.

Part Four would have the costumes they wore for the Abbey Road album cover.

Band membersEdit



  1. ^ 'The Bootleg Beatles'. BBC Music. (United Kingdom).
  2. ^ Reporter. (19 May 2015). 'My life as John Lennon, by Bootleg Beatles star'. The Sunday Post. (Scotland, UK).
  3. ^ 'Tribute Band Bootleg Beatles Looking For Their New John Lennon : Buzz : Music Times'. McCartney Times. (United Kingdom).
  4. ^ NME. "Bootleg Beatles defy rooftop gig ban". Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  5. ^ Entertainment: Reviews. (4 June 2002). 'Party At The Palace: Your views' BBC News. (United Kingdom).
  6. ^ ' The Bootleg Beatles join Ryan Tubridy']. BBC Radio. (United Kingdom).
  7. ^ Hutchinson, Charles. (11 March 2006). 'How Adam Hastings won the battle to be John Lennon in The Bootleg Beatles'. The Press. (Buckinghamshire, UK).
  8. ^ The Bootleg Beatles. "The Bootleg Beatles Announce Their New JOHN LENNON" (PDF). Bootleg Beatles. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  9. ^ The Bootleg Beatles. "David Quits". Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  10. ^ (24 April 2013). 'More acts added to Acoustic Stage line-up'. Glastonbury Festival. (Pilton, England).
  11. ^ (1 June 2017). " ‘It Was Fifty Years Ago Today’ A Concert celebrating Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love". Bootleg Beatles. Royal Albert Hall. (London, UK)
  12. ^ Osborne, Nigel. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 'It Was 50 Years Ago Today'". Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. YouTube. (England, UK).
  13. ^ Jones, Catherine. (1 June 2017). Review: It Was 50 Years Ago Today ****. Arts City Liverpool. (United Kingdom).

External linksEdit