Did you miss The Beatles first time around? All Together Now…All you need is The Upbeat Beatles and their amazing tribute to all the hit songs of The Beatles. Since 1997 The Upbeat Beatles have been recreating the excitement, authentic sound and energy of the original Fab Four.
We caught up with John Wilson, who manages and occasionally performs in the band, for a chat…
What is your involvement in the Upbeat Beatles?
I manage the band and run the office. I used to play in the band full time, after joining 15 years ago, and now occasionally provide cover and do a few shows, and one of them will be in in January when we appear at Potters. I remember feeling a bit silly before we did our first ever performance, having to put on a wig, but it is what makes you become the character when you get dressed in the wig and outfit. We do the accents too, and we are sometimes still in that character mode on our way home. Once you start with the accents, it can be hard to lose it! Also playing an instrument and singing is definitely a challenge… The Beatles were incredibly talented.
What can we expect from your performance with us?
I will be Paul, Adam from The Bootleg Beatles is joining us for a six month stint as John, and has performed at Glastonbury, and we have Simon as Paul, and Colin as George. It will be a great night and we are going to be performing two sets, and creating a real party atmosphere. In the first half we will be in our black suits on, it is the Beatles in the military style Shea Stadium outfits. When they performed at the baseball stadium it sold out and they went from performing in venues of 2,000 to 75,000. A lot of their songs are really short too, around two minutes, so we can fit a lot into our performance.
Have you met or seen The Beatles?
I have met McCartney and Ringo a few times. About 20 years ago I did a gig for McCartney for a party and played in front of him as The Beatles! Back then I didn’t think anything of it, but now I appreciate how incredible that was. I’m not sure I would be that relaxed about it now!
What is your favourite Beatles song?
I have always been so intrigued by John Lennon as he was so talented, so I love some of the early songs, like I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The audience always loves Twist & Shout, even though it’s not one of their originals. Did you know that The Beatles were only together for five and a half years, between 63 and 69!
Have you always been a fan of The Beatles?
Yes I grew up around their music and they were always on the radio. One of my kids, aged 11, even loves their music too. They do have something for everyone, and were great singers, great writers, musicians and were good looking. Nothing really compares now or since, although Police are very talented and really original.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Performing for the Prime Minister of China was really cool. What is fantastic is that this is our full time job and we have been able to making a living from playing The Beatles incredible music to audiences around the world.