THEY certainly don’t need any ‘help’ performing the hits from the fab four in the yellow submarine, as The Gazette speaks to ‘Paul McCartney’ AKA Steve White from the Bootleg Beatles.
The Beatles tribute act are currently on their spring tour, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic band’s critically acclaimed album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. During this run of shows, the group will be performing at The Anvil on April 11, which will be the penultimate date in their UK tour.
This incarnation of the mop tops is made up of Adam Hastings as John Lennon, White as McCartney, Stephen Hill as George Harrison, and Gordon Elsmore as Ringo Starr.
Covering the full spectrum of periods in the Beatles’ famous and long-lasting history, from the early days of the band’s formation, to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band through to their later hits including Abbey Road. The band make use of costumes that match the various time periods that the Beatles went through.
Steve White, who takes on the role of Paul McCartney role in the tribute band, told The Gazette: “The costumes really help to illustrate the time period of the songs that we’re playing, there were so many distinctive styles that the Beatles had. It’s an easy way for people to get into the music.”
Being a member of a tribute band of one of the most popular bands on the planet, they are expected to be completely true to the original. So much so, right-handed guitar player White had to relearn his instrument to keep in line with the left-handed playing of McCartney.
Steve added: “Our audience members were always saying how much they enjoyed the act but that it was obvious that I was playing the guitar right-handed when Paul plays left-handed. We try to be as accurate as we possibly can, we want to make the audience think that we are the Beatles, at least for those couple of hours, so I effectively learnt to play the guitar again.”
The task of being as authentic as possible is a daunting one, given the vast fan base and in-depth knowledge that the fans have. “There are some people out there with an amazing depth of knowledge of everything Beatles,” Steve explained.
“I’m a big Beatles fan who knows quite a lot about them, but there have been several times when I’ve encountered a new piece of information that I’ve never heard of before, just from talking to the people who come to our shows.”
The group studied hours of newsreel footage and previous interviews in order to get their act as close to the original as possible. Steve said: “I looked at all the minor details that would be obvious to Beatles fans. They have a lot of little quirks and mannerisms that are easily noticeable if not done correctly. Fans can and will be able to tell if you get something wrong, so I practiced for hours in front of the mirror in order to get the details as correct as possible.”
Steve never really planned to be a member of a tribute act to one of the most famous bands on the planet, adding: “There was no masterplan to do this.
“I was in a cover band to begin with, one that mostly played 60s music. Then, once we started playing the Beatles, that’s where I started to focus my energy. Then, the Beatles tracks slowly started taking over everything else, and eventually I was asked to join the Bootleg Beatles.”
They will be performing at the Anvil on April 11, tickets are available athere: anvilarts.org.uk/whats-on/the-bootleg-beatles-1