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The Counterfeit Beatles

 



 


 

 

 

The Counterfeit Beatles 


The Counterfeit Beatles have established themselves as one of the UK's most sought after international acts with two of the highest profile performances ever undertaken by any Beatles tribute band. Headlining the main stage at Japan's Fuji Rock Festival Ė with Coldplay, Elvis Costello. Steve Winwood, Primal Scream, Bjork- to an international crowd of 80,000.
Also starred in the £300,000 stage production Beatlemania at the Theatre Vergina Thessaloniki, Mainland Greece, for Walt Disney's award winning directors Derrick Lasalla and Stavros Sideras Ė with full national television and radio coverage.

The Counterfeit Beatles performed for Oasis singer Liam Gallagher at his A-list celebrity Christmas party, he was so impressed Liam spent the whole time hanging out with the Counterfeits and talking Beatles, Beatles, Beatles like a true Beatles fan.

Here Digger talks to their founder Peter Bailey about the band.

 

 

 


 

 

Digger: Hello Peter, can you tell us a little bit of the history of The Counterfeit Beatles?

Peter: I formed the band about 1998. It was only a small idea but it soon became apparent that it could be quite popular.

Digger: I suppose tributes were starting to become big at that time?

Peter: Yes, they did become popular around that time and then it all just sort of took off. One guy left from the original line-up but then it settled down for nine years.

Digger: Thatís very unusual for a band to stay the same line-up for that long.

Peter: We played in Japan, Greece, South Korea and some really big shows. After it settled down and the line-up was sorted out, we did the Fuji Rock Festival in 2003, which was like a really big thing. We played all the stages. And another big thing we did was when we played Glastonbury the same year as Coldplay and Elvis Costello.

Digger: Wow. Have you done the Isle of Wight yet?

Peter: Not yet, but after Glastonbury we did a show out in Greece for 31 nights called Beatlemania, which was a really high profile show on the radio and TV. That was another big highlight. In 2009 we went out to South Korea, in Seoul, which was in a Vegas-type show called The Famous Artists Show, which premiered at The Hilton in Seoul and then went on to The Marriott. This was for seven weeks. That was last year and this year we went out to India twice Ė a tour of southern India incorporating Sri Lanka as well. We did six dates.

Digger: Youíre real globetrotters, arenít you?

Peter: Well, yes, Iíve just read out the highlights Ė Iím not mentioning all the weddings and what have you.

Digger: No, we also did Redditch!

Peter: Yes. So that was in February this year and then in July we went up into the north west of India. It was quite an adventure Ė Burma and all that way.

Digger: With these other countries, have they still got a strong Beatlemania?

Peter: A western show comes in and itís not like here where we get a show every week. There, itís not often that a show comes in from abroad, I suppose, and so thereís a bit more interest. We also went to Malta this year. I didnít know too much about it Ė I just took the booking. We did an open air concert in front of 10,000 on our own!

Digger: Theyíre very pro-British there.

Peter: Yes, theyíre lovely people. Finland and Sweden Ė we did gigs there too between Stockholm and Helsinki. We went out to Bahrain for a little jaunt, Germany and Spain. Next year we go to France, so thatís all the big sort of stuff we do.

Digger: Do you tend to play songs in chronological order?

Peter: Yes, itís a full show with four separate stages of The Beatles.

Digger: Obviously with costume changes as well?

Peter: Yes. We did a gig for Liam Gallagher Ė a Christmas Eve surprise, it was. He really liked us and hung out with us and chatted. It was his sisters who arranged it and the in-laws so it was a family thing.

Digger: Heís famously known to be a big Beatles fan, of course.

Peter: Yes. It was really surreal to do that. And this year we did some filming with Tony Hawks.

Digger: Whenís that being shown?

Peter: Early next year Ė itís called The Moldavian TennisÖ

Digger: Yes, I know it - Playing The Moldavians at Tennis.

Peter: Part of the story is he goes up to Liverpool and needs to get a visa and the only way he can get it is through a Moldavian. And thereís a Moldavian Beatles band so heís re-enacting watching them and then talking to them afterwards. Itís quite funny, and we played the part of The Flying Postmen Ė that was the name of the band.

Digger: Have you seen Harry and Paulís latest series?

Peter: Yes, The Beatles parody. Very funny.

Digger: Itís hilarious to see them showing The Beatles as if they had always been around. So Iím assuming that youíve got lots of youngsters at these gigs?

Peter: Yes, we cover every age. Most people quite like The Beatles.

 

 

 

 

Digger: Why do you think they are so special to people?

Peter: I suppose itís because they did so much Ė if you look at their career they covered so many genres Ė rock, soul, country, blues Ė you name it. Everything they did, they did it the best.

Digger: And pioneers in so many ways too.

Peter: Yes, engineering-wise and with the sounds.

Digger: We were lucky to get Sir George Martin to answer some questions a while back and he did so much apart from The Beatles.

Peter: Yes, mid-way through The Beatles I think he had his own studios and it was only up until about Ď67 and Sergeant Pepper because after that he did other stuff because they were starting to get to be hard work.

Digger: He was doing comedy records and classical recordings and producing bands like The Action.

Peter: And Peter Sellers...

Digger: ...And Rolf Harris and Bernard Cribbins.

Peter: We did a thing on the BBC news when it was John Lennonís birthday and they did a little story featuring our band up at The Beatles Store in Baker Street.

Digger: Howardís store? Heís great because heís always at the gigs that I go to Ė he gets around.

Peter: He does well in that shop Ė itís very busy. The BBC rung us up and said they wanted to do a little story for Johnís birthday about what heíd think now. I said one of my guys is a good showman and actor so he dressed up and walked around the shop chatting. Iíll send you the link. Weíve done various stuff including radio Kent where they asked us who did the best Beatles cover.

Digger: Do you play Beatles stuff to relax?

Peter: Itís part of my life so I switch on and off with it. Itís like a business really.

Digger: What about the future for The Counterfeit Beatles Peter?

Peter: Well, itís just what it is. Itís not going to be anything more than that Ė no major surprises.

Digger: No ambitions to play The Albert Hall?

Peter: I think weíve fulfilled most of our ambitions, you know? Out to Japan, to India twice this year, to Germany Ė The Hard Rock Cafť. Weíve done all the big corporate gigs Ė Park Lane and all the big hotels. We even did a gig under Concord which was quite cool.

Digger: Wow.

Peter: They put tables and chairs under it and a stage between the wheels and a backdrop all lit up and it was huge. It was in a hanger at Manchester airport. At the corporate venue and it was incredible. There should be some pictures on our website.

Digger: I went on the Concord but itís really a lot smaller than you think, isnít it?

Peter: It is and it smells of leather.

Digger: A very seventies look and smell. We have a lot of people coming in to the site who are interested in tribute bands and sixties and seventies parties.

Peter: Do you put on events?

Digger: No, we just point people to companies that do.

Peter: A guy rang me the other day and said ďWe need you to come and play guitar to people as they come into the venue for 20th December up in Liverpool.Ē And I said ďI can do a Paul McCartney thing.Ē And the guy was very broad Scouse and wasnít saying too much, but then I got an email from someone and it said Paul McCartney has announced a few Christmas dates, one in Liverpool and one in Manchester and one in London. I looked it up and the Liverpool one's on the 20th so Iíve got a feeling that the company running it wants me to play in the foyer or something like that. They didnít say too much, but I can work out roughly what itís about. Theyíre going to ring me back on Friday and seem really interested. It would be great if we get to meet him.

Digger: I was wondering if that was one of your remaining ambitions, to meet one of the two remaining Beatles?  

Peter: Yes, I wouldnít mind, not madly, but something like that would be on a good level to do it.

Digger: Youíve got to go for these things when they turn up.

Peter: It might be interesting to see how it goes. You get all these opportunities that crop up.

Digger: When you see McCartney playing these days heís almost like a tribute in some ways Ė playing some Beatles hits and some Wings hits, isn't he?

Peter: Yes, he plays the stuff that people want I suppose. Heís got such a big back-catalogue of stuff. He actually puts on a two hour show and does very well, doesnít he?

Digger: He does very well. Iíve seen him a few times now and I canít believe how he can carry on for so long. His band are terrific and his drummer is terrific.

Peter: The big guy, yes. So you never know...

Digger: Fingers crossed. I hope you do meet up with him, but good luck with that gig anyway.

Peter: Iíll keep you posted because it might be a nice little story.

Digger: Thank you. Best of luck and thanks very much Peter.

Peter: Alright, thanks, Bye.

Digger: Bye.

 


 

The Counterfeit Beatles 

 

The Show Ė Sets 1 and 2
 
The show begins with a dramatic soundtrack and lighting display and then goes into the early days of Love Me Do, She Loves Me, I Wanna Hold Your Hand etc. They are in full costume of the grey collarless suits of the 60's. The second set covers songs from the Rubber Soul album through to Revolver. Songs like Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer. They are again in full costume of the black velvet collared suits, famously synonymous with the original Beatles.

The Show Ė Sets 3 and 4 

The third set covers the Sergeant Pepper phase of psychedelic coloured guitars, longer hair and moustaches through to the White album. This set also features the famous songs of Hey Jude, Back in the USSR , All You Need is Love. The fourth set comprises of the Abbey Road and Let It Be era culminating in such classics as Get Back and Come Together. They wear the same clothes worn on the cover of Abbey Road.

Should you have any queries or require any further information about the band please email counterfeitbeatles@btopenworld.com

Tel: 07715131556
international Tel: +447715131556

 

 

 

 

 


 

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