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The Bootleg Beatles


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Formed from the West End cast of the Broadway musical "Beatlemania", The Bootleg Beatles' career began at a now long forgotten student's bash in Tiverton, Devon, UK on March 26th 1980 - almost ten years to the day since Paul McCartney announced the original's had split. Giving themselves six months to make or break it, the group signed up to the late Brian Epstein's NEMS agency. The new band's calendar slowly filled with a mix of all-night college balls and tough tours of the Working Men's Clubs of the North of England and Scotland - The Bootleg's Hamburg.

Cutting to 1982, the now firmly established B.B.'s were offered a six-week tour of The U.S.S.R., becoming the first western rock group ever to tour the Soviet Union. Almost true Beatle-like scenes of hysteria greeted the Bootleg's sold out concerts in Moscow and Leningrad. The world beckoned the group as they toured India, The Middle East, The Far East (playing to 18,000 fans at the Areneta Coliseum, Philippines) and in 1984, to the USA (leaving London on Pan Am flight 01A on the 7th February - exactly twenty years to the day after The Fab Four).

As the eighties wound down the world's first 'tribute' band were ready for a fresh challenge - the story had only just begun. Read on...

Into The Nineties

Ten years after the last curtain had fallen on 'Beatlemania' and the Bootlegs Beatles' odyssey had begun, their international reputation had grown immensely, mainly due to the band's many successful concert tours abroad. In the UK though, the band needed a new direction. A master plan was conceived to recreate, city by city, the Fab Four's final British tour ('65).

However, theatre bosses and promoters didn't warm to the concept, so the band took destiny into their own hands booking the nine-date tour themselves and the annual event that has become The Bootleg Beatles Christmas Tour was established. Within three years the tour had become 40 dates strong, including regular sell out performances at the London Palladium, The Liverpool Empire and The Albert Hall - venues The Beatles themselves had graced 30 years before.

Having seen the Bootlegs' storming set at the '94 Glastonbury Festival, Brit Pop band Oasis caught the BB's show again that Christmas at Southampton's Guildhall. Noel and Liam Gallagher were so enamoured with the group that they asked them to be the support act for their record-breaking 1995 Earl's Court shows - culminating with both bands sharing the stage for 'I Am The Walrus' (Captured on the video 'There and Then') - and then the following summer joining Oasis again for their massive outdoor events in Loch Lomond, Cork and Knebworth. These gigs and an appearance on the cover of the NME, heralded the Bootleg Beatles' breakthrough to a new contemporary audience, something unheard of for a 'tribute' act. Since becoming regulars on the festival circuit, The Bootlegs have played Wembley with Rod Stewart and Elton John, shared the bill with The Corrs, David Bowie and Iggy Pop and filled Tokyo's Budokan Hall in their own right.

Over the years The Bootleg Beatles have performed in front of many, many thousands of people including such notable luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison, George Martin and Her Majesty, The Queen. Of all the venues they have played perhaps none (aside from Buckingham Palace!) was more auspicious than their appearance on the rooftop of the Apple Building at 3, Savile Row, London. On the freezing morning of 30th January 1999 the BBs performance commemorated the Fab Fours' farewell gig exactly 30 years ago to the day, the event transmitted on news channels across the globe.

Now into their 25th year The BB's have set the standard for all those hundreds of 'tribute bands' who have followed in their footsteps as they continue to keep the spirit and magic of the greatest pop group the world has ever seen well and truly alive.

The Bootleg Beatles

The Bootleg Beatles

  • 19 Jul, 2019

    The Bootleg Beatles & Cattle & Cane: In Carlisle

    Both The Bootleg Beatles & Cattle & Cane will be the special guests of Madness at The Sands Centre, Carlisle on 21st July.

  • 28 Jun, 2019

    The Bootleg Beatles: Appfest 2019

    The Bootleg Beatles will play the Appfest in Tewkesbury on 14th September.

  • 27 Jun, 2019

    Glastonbury Festival: Sunday 30th June, 2019

    The Cure will headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival on Sunday, and the day features many artists from the Primary Talent International roster.

    11.50-12.30: Circa Waves (Other Stage)
    14.30-15.30: Self Esteem (Pussy Parlure)
    16.00-16.40: Nil├╝fer Yanya (William's Green)
    16.00-17.00: Joy Crookes (Pussy Parlure)
    16.00-17.00: Tiffany Calver (Gully Blues)
    17.00-18.00: Steel Banglez (Gully Blues)
    17.15-18.15: Ray BLK (Sonic)
    17.15-18.15: Loyle Carner (Other Stage)
    17.20-18.20: The Bootleg Beatles (Acoustic Stage)
    18.00-18.40: Ten Tonnes (William's Green)
    18.00-19.00: DJ Vadim ft Kiko Bun (The Bug at Arcadia)
    20.15-21.15: Dave (Other Stage)
    21.15-23.30: The Cure (Pyramid Stage)
    21.30-22.45: The Streets (John Peel Stage)
    23.15-00.30: Maverick Sabre (Sonic)
    00.00-01.00: Kasra (Arcadia's Pangea)
    01.00-02.00: High Contrast DJ (Samula)
    01.00-03.00: Mike Skinner DJ (The Rum Shack)

    Glastonbury Festival
  • 25 Apr, 2018

    The Bootleg Beatles: Standon Calling 2018

    The Bootleg Beatles will play the Standon Calling festival in Hertfordshire, between 26th-29th July.

    bootlegs standon
  • 25 Apr, 2018

    Standon Calling 2018

    The Standon Calling festival takes place in Hertfordshire from 26th-29th July, and features Primary Talent International artists:

    ...Django Django
    ...The Horrors
    ...Pale Waves
    ...The Bootleg Beatles
    ...Meggie Brown

    standon calling
  • 24 Apr, 2018

    The Bootleg Beatles: At Kenwood House, London

    A double bill of great music will take to the outdoor stage in the stunning grounds of Kenwood House in North London on Sunday 17th June as part of this year's Heritage Live Concert Series.

    The sensational Bootleg Beatles come to Kenwood fresh from a sell-out at London's Royal Albert Hall this week. Having formed in 1980, they are without doubt the world's premiere tribute band; an institution in their own right. Having sold out arenas across the world for almost four decades, their note-perfect recreation of hits from the world's most famous songbook have made The Bootleg Beatles an enthralling live show.

    Every tiny detail is meticulously covered, from costumes to authentic period instruments; from Liverpudlian banter to their inflection-perfect vocal mimicry. As the late Sir George Martin simply said, "A terrific show". The Kenwood show will see the band perform their full production accompanied by a string and brass ensemble.

    Tickets go on sale, Friday 27th April.

  • 07 Apr, 2018

    Bootleg Beatles: 53 Degrees North

    53 Degrees North proudly presents the world's premier Beatles experience in the captivating setting of Hull's Zebedee's Yard. On the summer afternoon of June 10th The Bootleg Beatles with a full orchestra will take residency in the unique space and play all the Beatles hits just for you.

    The Bootleg Beatles have performed sold-out shows worldwide for 36 years. The NME recently called the experience "Magically real" while The Mail on Sunday described their shows as "Mind-bogglingly accurate." Even George Harrison himself said to The Bootleg Beatles "You probably know the chords better than I do."

    53 Degrees North's Mez Green commented "Music is about escapism and what better way to escape but by listening to the songs of the biggest band in the world on a summer afternoon in Hull."

    bootlegs hull
  • 06 Mar, 2018

    Standon Calling 2018

    The Standon Calling festival, takes place in Hertfordshire from 26th to 29th July and features a whole host of Primary Talent International artists:

    ...Django Django
    ...The Horrors
    ...Pale Waves
    ...The Bootleg Beatles
    ...Meggie Brown

    standon calling
  • 07 Feb, 2018

    The Bootleg Beatles: In Glasgow

    The Bootleg Beatles will play at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow on 26th May 2018.

    bootlegs glasgow
  • 30 Jan, 2018

    Standon Calling 2018

    The Standon Calling festival which takes place in Hertfordshire from 26th - 29th July, will feature Primary Talent artists:

    ...Django Django
    ...The Horrors
    ...Pale Waves
    ...The Bootleg Beatles

    standon calling
24 Aug 19Wannasee FestivalPenrith
14 Sep 19AppfestTewkesbury
26 Sep 19Philharmonic HallLiverpool
27 Sep 19Philharmonic HallLiverpool
29 Sep 19Bridgewater HallManchester
12 Oct 19Ulster HallBelfast, N.ireland
16 Oct 19Symphony HallBirmingham
17 Oct 19Royal Albert HallLondon
18 Oct 19The AnvilBasingstoke
20 Oct 19Bord Gais Energy TheatreDublin, Ireland
24 Oct 19Auditirio Alfredo KrausLas Palmas, Spain
25 Oct 19Auditoria Alfredo KrausLas Palmas, Spain
30 Oct 19Southern Cross ClubCanberra, Australia
01 Nov 19Penrith PanthersPenrith, Australia
02 Nov 19The State TheatreSydney, Australia
03 Nov 19Anitas TheatreWollongong, Australia
07 Nov 19The Palms at CrownMelbourne, Australia
08 Nov 19Twin Towns Services ClubTweed Heads, Australia
10 Nov 19The TivoliBrisbane, Australia
14 Nov 19The Opera HouseWellington, New Zealand
15 Nov 19The Town HallChristchurch, New Zealand
17 Nov 19The Town Hall Auckland, New Zealand
21 Nov 19Dubai OperaDubai, Uae
29 Nov 19Madness Weekender at ButlinsMinehead
05 Dec 19St Davids HallCardiff
06 Dec 19St Georges HallBradford
07 Dec 19De Montfort HallLeicester
08 Dec 19Philharmonic HallLiverpool
10 Dec 19City HallSheffield
11 Dec 19Usher HallEdinburgh
12 Dec 19Royal Concert HallGlasgow
13 Dec 19Bridgewater HallManchester
14 Dec 19O2 City HallNewcastle
16 Dec 19Royal CentreNottingham
17 Dec 19Symphony HallBirmingham
19 Dec 19Royal HallHarrogate
20 Dec 19ForumBath
21 Dec 19The PavilionsPlymouth
22 Dec 19Brighton CentreBrighton
22 Jan 20OperaCopenhagen, Denmark
23 Jan 20KongrescenterRingsted, Denmark
24 Jan 20OdeonOdense, Denmark
25 Jan 20MusikhusetEsbjerg, Denmark
26 Jan 20MusikhusetAarhus, Denmark
12 Feb 20C-MineGenk, Belgium
13 Feb 20De RomaAntwerp, Belgium
15 Feb 20CC Het BolwerkVilvoorde, Belgium
16 Feb 20ConcertgebouwBrugge, Belgium
17 Feb 20CC Het BolwerkVilvoorde, Belgium
18 Feb 20Het DepotLeuven, Belgium
20 Feb 20De OosterpoortGroningen, Netherlands
21 Feb 20CorneelLelystad, Netherlands
22 Feb 20Q-FactoryAmsterdam, Netherlands
23 Feb 20Tivoli VredenburgUtrecht, Netherlands
24 Feb 20RockhalEsch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
26 Feb 20PatronaatDN Haarlem, Netherlands
27 Feb 20EffenaarEindhoven, Netherlands
28 Feb 20MuziekgieterijAS Maastricht, Netherlands
29 Feb 20Cultuurpodium BoerdeZoetermeer, Netherlands
18 Mar 20Corn ExchangeCambridge
19 Mar 20De La Warr PavilionBexhill
20 Mar 20New TheatreMalvern
21 Mar 20Venue CymruLlandudno
22 Mar 20Victoria HallStoke
24 Mar 20Central TheatreChatham
25 Mar 20PavilionBournemouth
27 Mar 20Pavilion TheatreWorthing
28 Mar 20The HexagonReading
29 Mar 20Cliffs PavilionSouthend
30 Mar 20G-LiveGuildford
01 Apr 20BarbicanYork
02 Apr 20Victoria TheatreHalifax
03 Apr 20Town HallMiddlesborough
04 Apr 20Opera HouseBuxton
05 Apr 20Regent TheatreIpswich
07 Apr 20Alban ArenaSt Albans
08 Apr 20Royal Albert HallLondon
01 May 20DerngateNorthampton
02 May 20Royal Concert HallNottingham
06 May 20The SageGateshead
07 May 20Usher HallEdinburgh
08 May 20SEC ArmadilloGlasgow
10 May 20Music HallAberdeen
10 Jun 20GuildhallPortsmouth
11 Jun 20Assembley HallTunbridge Wells
12 Jun 20City HallSalisbury
13 Jun 20Dorking HallsDorking
14 Jun 20Town HallCheltenham
14 Sep 20AppfestLedbury