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How do you formulate the set?
We try and do a run of the same set and then we’ll change it drastically. At the moment, we’re doing lots of A Hard Day’s Night, doings songs like I Should Have Known Better and Happy Just To Dance With You, stuff we haven’t done for a while, and then a whole other bunch of songs from the early career, going into Shea Stadium et cetera.
We’ll change that set completely when we go out on the next tour. And we work on all kinds of different songs in sound check, constantly. We don’t just have 29 songs. We’re very lucky because the ranges of everybody in the group can reach the range of The Beatles, so if we want to do Rock And Roll Music or Long Tall Sally we can. We’re always going through stuff like It Won’t Be Long or And Your Bird Can Sing, which is a tough one. On the record I think that’s George and Paul playing in harmony, but really in order to keep the rhythm guitar going properly in a four piece I’ve had to learn the whole thing in double stops, and that is a real tough one because it’s quite fast as well.
You must have fun digging out b-sides and lesser-known album tracks?
We do, b-sides particularly we love doing. In sound checks we’re been doing I’ll Get you, which is the b-side to She Loves You, and that is just a joyous song to play. Occasionally we’ll chuck it in to the performance out of the blue. We work on stuff all the time. We did Happiness Is A Warm Song recently and that’s a belting song to get down. Very complex but brilliant.
It must be fun to watch those songs hit home on an audience live too.
It’s funny you mention that, because something like Happiness Is A Warm Gun, some people wouldn’t consider that too much. But when they see the songs done live, they go off to check out the LPs. That’s a great moment, you feel like you’re selling The Beatles to fans who maybe haven’t delved as deep.
The Bootleg Beatles are currently on tour – for dates and more information, visit the official Bootleg Beatles website.