CONCERT REVIEW : The Bootleg Beatles, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 15th December 2021


The Bootleg Beatles are back on tour for their seasonal UK shows, and their Glasgow fans have flocked to see them in their numbers.  The band may have changed their personnel on more than a few occasions, but the show remains as enjoyable and the music that was ground-breaking back in the day still sounds fabulous in current times.

Opening as the 1963 era, set one covers the bands’ introduction to the British music scene, the early singles and first few albums.  She Loves You, All My Loving and I Want to Hold Your Hand, all great tracks performed impeccably, the band have the look and the sound off to a tee, and the audience on their feet from the word go.  Not only is this a musical feast, the backdrop provides a newsreel of the news that made the headlines back then, politics, music and clips of The Fab Four and the Beatlemania that followed.

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Set two covers the band’s first two movies, A Hard Days Night and Help!, with some soundtrack hits including Cant Buy Me Love, Yesterday, Another Girl and closing with the Islay Brothers classic Twist and Shout, the audience dancing in the aisles by this point.

Another quick change and a 5 minute video on the back drop and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Clubs Band has taken to the stage.  Ringos’s turn to take the vocals on With a Little Help From My Friends, and highlight of the evening Penny Lane, with the brass section accompanying the band absolutely note perfect, hard to tell if it was a record playing at times.  Strawberry Fields Forever and A Day in the Life closed the set, and it was time for an audience break too.

Were onto the late 60’s now and the albums Revolver, The White Album and Yellow Submarine.  The track Revolution opened, with Macca on piano for Lady Madonna, the strings section holding the fort with Eleanor Rigby and a Lennon solo with Across The Universe, before the band take to a makeshift stage on the rooftops of number 3 Saville Row for the Let It Be album.  Ive Got a Feeling, Dig a Pony and another crowd mover Get Back.  More tracks from the album followed.  The Long and Winding Road, Two of Us and Let It Be and the set was over.

It wouldn’t be a Glasgow audience without demanding more and they got it in great measure.  A huge singalong, although not via satellite this time, All You Need Is Love and the finale Hey Jude, the arms and lighters were in the air and a couple of thousand voices raised the roof.  The band eventually allowed to leave the stage to a massive ovation and another Bootleg Beatles show was over.

Fans of The Beatles would be hard pushed to find anything to gripe about here, the clothes, the hairstyles, the music and even the videos on the backdrop are first class, which is how it should be.  The band were on point, the music exactly how it sounded on the records, resulting in yet another first-class evening of nostalgia for fans young and old.  The Bootleg Beatles show is a great night out, definitely one to see, trust me, they Don’t Let You Down!

Review & Photographs by Stephen Wilson

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