Live review: The Pretend Beatles – The Academy Theatre, Birdwell (8th February 2014)

Playing their first gig in Birdwell’s Academy Theatre, The Pretend Beatles put on a fun little show, transporting the audience filled – with both the old and the young alike – back to the 1960’s. A time of peace, love and psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll.

The band performed tunes that ranged from the early Please Please Me era all the way through to the Let It Be and Abbey Road era. They played many of the bands biggest hits as well as several deeper cuts (for the casual fan at least) including You’re Gonna Lose That Girl, I Wanna Be Your Man and Don’t Let Me Down.

While the band were no spring chickens they certainly dressed the part: They wore the traditional Beatles suits for the first half of the show before changing to the Shea Stadium concert attire for the second half. Also they had all the right gear, be it from the Rickenbackers, Gretsch and Gibson guitars, to the Hofner bass, to the Vox amps.

Overall the band were a little rough around the edges both visually and musically. It certainly was a ‘no frills’ show, however they were a solid tribute band that had fun with the audience while rattling through many songs (impressively recreating intricate later-era songs onstage as a 4-piece.) They had people singing and clapping along and everyone left the fully booked theatre satisfied.

They may not be among the very best Beatles tribute bands around, however they are certainly not the worst. They clearly had a comprehensive musical knowledge of the The Beatles songs and did their best to entertain the audience. Definitely worth going to see them if they’re playing anywhere nearby.

You can find out more about The Pretend Beatles over on their official website. Also you can see what else is on at Birdwell’s Academy Theatre on their official website.

The Pretend Beatles setlist

From Me To You
Please Please Me
I Want To Hold Your Hand
All My Loving
I Wanna Be Your Man
You Can’t Do That
I Need You
A Hard Day’s Night
Can’t Buy Me Love
You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
I Feel Fine
Day Tripper
Don’t Let Me Down
Ticket To Ride
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
With a Little Help From My Friends
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Come Together
Here Comes the Sun
Back in the USSR
Get Back
Eight Days a Week
She Loves You
I Saw Her Standing There
Roll Over Beethoven
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)
Twist and Shout
Yellow Submarine
Let It Be
Hey Jude

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