The Bootleg Beatles
Pavilion Theatre, Worthing
25 April 2018
When I was a teenager, a friend asked me where my first trip would be if I had a time machine. I responded immediately: “1961, Cavern Club, Liverpool. The Beatles first concert.” Having been born several decades too late to ever witness a Beatles concert live, I had previously thought that awaiting the invention of the TARDIS would be my best bet to achieve this. And then I discovered The Bootleg Beatles.
Four men with uncanny resemblances to their counterparts, from their expressions to mop-top hairstyles, greeted the audience with well-known early Beatles classics, ensuring the audience’s awareness that this was not going to be just a tribute band. Each man’s voice is so accurate a performance of his “Fab Four” counterpart, that I had to stare at each singer individually to ensure that they weren’t miming to the original record. I was stunned at the accuracy of their portrayal.
Steve White’s Paul McCartney is as talented yet humble as the original, addressing the audience as his friends and demonstrating incredible skill of his instruments and voice. Gordon Elsmore as Ringo Starr was a crowd favourite, with fans calling out for drum solos and further performances all evening. Stephen Hill portrayed George Harrison, “The Quiet One”, with a calm dignity and superb talent, stealing the show with his performance of “Here Comes The Sun”. Adam Hastings’ John Lennon was simply remarkable. Hastings encouraged and responded to audience comments with all the tongue-in-cheek quick wit of the original. Sarcastic comments such as “Good to see you’ve all come dressed as your parents” in Lennon’s exact Liverpudlian accent helped the magic of the evening even further.
As the evening progressed, so did the music and fashion styles, covering everything from the black-and-white early days, to Sergeant Pepper’s colourful clothes and unusual lyrics, to the Summer of Love’s acoustic and soulful hits. The show flowed seamlessly, with solo performances and video montages ensuring that every moment on stage was spectacular.
The Bootleg Beatles are truly wonderful performers. The only fault I can find at all with this evening, is that it had to end.
Reviewer: Hannah Todd