I went to see The Upbeat Beatles at The Courtyard in Hereford on 31st October 2019. What a show!
The Upbeat Beatles performed a fantastic set of Beatles songs from the very early days of Love Me Do right through to Sergeant Peper and Hey Jude. John Wilson, a founder member has agreed to answer some questions and I would like to share his answers with you.
John Wilson starts off by saying.
"I just wanted to say that the main objective is to entertain. Whatever music you play you have to engage with the audience and I think you will agree this is what lifts us above all the other Beatles tributes."
1. The Beatles became the biggest band in the world. When and why did you decide to form a tribute band?
The band were formed in 1997 initially as a bit of fun (labour of love) but quickly gained momentum and quite a few gigs. I auditioned for the part of Paul in 1999-and I got the job.
2. Were you all friends prior to forming the Upbeat Beatles?
The first format were, but the I joined and then we got a new George and that line up-John Wilson, Roger Channing, Colin Yates and Paul Jarrett-stayed together until 2014/15. New line up is Colin Yates, Dustin Yem, Reuven Gershon and Joe Kane.
3. If you each had to pick out one Beatles song, which one would you choose and why? (4 answers please!)
HELP!-they were at their most frenetic but this was a cry for help! Twist and Shout-the closest we will get to the raw Cavern sound! Yesterday-needs no explanation and finally Something-George has emerged.
4. What other types of music do you like to listen to when you are not performing?
Crowded House, Jazz - All Types, Early Rock N Roll, Sting/Police
5. How do you relax after a show?
Mostly we just chill out then hit the road although one or two have been known to tear up the town-they know who they are!!!!!
6. Are there any of The Beatles songs from their enormous collection that you haven’t performed live?
Rocky Racoon, Julia, Everybody’s got something to Hide, Cry baby Cry.
7. Do you have a different selection of songs for each show?
For theatres we keep it the same and then refresh each year. Other shows are pretty much designed on a one off basis. For example festivals - we would keep it very rocky!
8. It’s great that you have a backdrop of films for the different eras in the show. Whose idea was this?
Mainly Colin-he put all that together and it is really thought provoking.
9. Which era of the Beatles songs receives the most audience participation?
That's a tricky one-to be honest Get back, which is the final part of the Beatles, gets just as much as Twist and Shout.
10. What are your plans for 2020?
We already have 90 shows booked and we will probably end up doing 125!!!!!! We will also be filming a full length video.
Many thanks for answering these questions, I for one will be coming to see you again in 2020 and I'm sure many of people reading this will want to as well!
ALL photos are copyright The Upbeat Beatles and used with permission.