Flashback Friday: The Bootleg Beatles, St David’s Hall, Cardiff (December 2011)

Flashback Friday returns with a series of reviews from previous years celebrating the best in live music and theatre. If you remember attending any of the shows please send us your memories.

The Beatles are my all-time favourite band and although I never got to see them live, I jumped at the chance to catch their best-known homage – The Bootleg Beatles at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on December 13, 2011.

What follows is my review for the show, written at the time:

Bootleg Beatles play the Alhambre in 2011

The Bootleg Beatles made their annual visit to St David’s Hall on Tuesday evening and keen-eyed fans who have caught their show before may have noticed a new member in their ranks.

Joining David Catlin-Birch as Paul McCartney, Andre Barreau as George Harrison and Hugo Degenhardt as Ringo Starr, was new addition Adam Hastings as John Lennon.

As the band stepped onto the stage sporting Beatle haircuts, 1960s sweatshirts and authentic Cuban heels, they launched into several numbers that shook the world including I Want to Hold Your Hand, Can’t Buy Me Love and All My Loving.

Not only did the Bootleg Beatles look like the real thing (from mannerisms to posture) but they sounded like the real deal too, emulating everything from George’s guitar solo on A Hard Days Night to the tempo change on Strawberry Fields Forever.

1960s Chart toppers I Feel Fine, Day Tripper and Paperback Writer were featured alongside heavily orchestrated songs such as I Am The Walrus, Penny Lane and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band thanks to the Steve Peters Quintet.

Bootleg Beatles play the Alhambre in 2011

Donning several costumes changes The Bootleg Beatles encouraged the audience to leap from their seats and dance in the aisles to classics such as Get Back, Twist and Shout and Hey Jude!

At the concerts climax, the ultimate compliment came from Bootleg John himself: “On behalf of the group and ourselves, you’ve really passed the audition”. It was a compliment that the audience certainly returned to the band too, with cheers and applause.

  • Flashback Friday was written by Andy Howells

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