You're playing some of the classic halls around the country during your 15-date UK tour this month, including Newcastle City Hall. Do you feel that the architecture and character atmosphere of these old halls really adds to the atmosphere of your shows?

Not only does it add to the atmosphere but the enjoyment of playing in those halls is so lovely. It makes you wonder if that architecture could speak, what it could tell you about some of the bands and events that have been performed there over the years. The City Hall is a lovely welcoming, warm venue.

The centre piece of the show will be music from the Sgt Pepper album. That's arguably the most difficult of all the albums by the Beatles to perform. How challenging was it for you to recreate those songs live on stage?

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It is certainly a challenging album to perform live and we couldn't do all of those songs if we didn't have additional musicians on stage. We have been touring with an orchestra so that we can perform those songs. Even songs like Penny Lane and All You Need is Love from other albums have some orchestration in them. You can't do some of those songs live without the orchestra and even the Beatles didn't play some of them live.

You did a complete run through the whole album at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra earlier this year. That must have been quite an experience for you?

That was absolutely incredible. We did six or so shows with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and that was a 70-piece orchestra so the sound on stage was absolutely massive. It was such a big show. To travel with that show would be such a massive undertaking so we tour with an eight-piece string section which is enough for most Beatles songs. It was so magical to do that show at the Royal Albert Hall and to perform on the anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper was absolutely incredible. That was actually my birthday too on the day too so it doesn't get much better than that.

As well as Sgt Pepper, will you be covering all of the different eras of The Beatles history?

We will be playing from all parts of their history. We have a mixed audience from the die-hard fans to the more casual ones so we have to incorporate something for everyone. We tend to run the show in a chronological order with all of the costumes and songs from each era which essentially tells the story of the Beatles from the very start through to the mop-tops to Summer of Love Psychedelic era through to the Let It Be phase with their long hair and beards. We pick out key points throughout those periods with some of the really well-known songs to some of the more obscure ones too so hopefully we'll be able to please everyone.

Which is the era that you particularly enjoy playing the most?

I think the early period from 1962-63, there`s just so much energy and it's so exciting at that point, that even though the songs are much simpler than the later ones, it's just so much fun to do. It's quite hard to answer as I think all eras are great but I'd say those early days are particular enjoyable for me to play.

Along with the music you also recreate the look of the band. How long did it take you to perfect the stage clothes?

It did take quite a while for us to get all of the replicas just right. When the band first started it wasn't as easy to get all of the replicas like it is now. We still have to get the costumes specially made and shipped from overseas and it can be quite a laborious task trying to recreate the look. It's the same with the instruments but my instrument is an original 1964 vintage Hofner bass so from the actual period. They are quite hard to get hold of too. It's quite a hefty task to get all of those things right especially as some of the fans know everything down to the minutest detail from the clothes and instrument types to when George sang into John's microphone so we do try to get everything as right as we can. I consider myself a mega fan but I still get people telling me things I've never heard of. We try to do as much as we can as close as we possibly can

Legendary Beatles producer George Martin has hailed your show for its accuracy and detail. That must have meant a lot to you?

To get such a comment from the Beatles inner circle is just wonderful and it goes to show we're doing something right.

Have any of the Beatles seen you perform?

They have in the past but I don't know if they've seen any of the current line-up. I know George Harrison had seen us a couple of times in the early days.

Have you ever considered recording new material in The Beatles style?

We have actually spoken about that but whether that becomes a reality I don't know but it is something we have thought about. As the Bootleg Beatles we don't really do any CDs or DVDs as our view is, if you want to listen to the Beatles then buy their records. We are just really a live advertisement for the real thing and if we can turn you on to the Beatles that`s what we like to do. To do some original music in the Beatles style then that could be a possibility.

  • Bootleg Beatles play at the Newcastle City Hall on December 16.