Going back to the 1960s for a groovy night out

The Bootleg Sixties
The Bootleg Sixties
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The Bootleg Sixties, Blackpool Grand Theatre

In 1969, it was one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind as Neil Armstrong landed on the moon – and on Sunday night, one small step into Blackpool Grand Theatre felt like having one giant leap back in time to the 1960s.

I missed out on the real 1960s experience by some years, but watching the talented and enthusiastic Overtures and their Bootleg Sixties show was like being in that iconic decade.

It wasn’t just the music, although that was brilliant in itself, but large screens behind the band gave the audience an insight (or, for the most part, a blast from the past) of the era’s fashion, lifestyle and news.

Even during the interval, the 60s vibe continued with 1960s adverts being shown.

The Overtures are versatile musicians in their own right, performing a wide range of instruments – guitar, keyboards, percussion, harmonica, drums – depending on the song. And getting into the ‘groovy’ vibe, they dressed according to the music and year. So the dress changed from sober black to mod-style to flowery psychedelic shirts.

Manfred Mann’s 5-4-3-2-1 kickstarted a non-stop feast (except for the interval) of 60s music which lasted more than two hours. The number of tunes, sung and instrumental, was immense and varied. Music spanning gentle melodies (Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel) to mod rock (The Kinks) to the King himself (Elvis). American groups The Byrds, Beach Boys and The Doors mingled with their British counterparts, the Rolling Stones, the Moody Blues and The Beatles. From Roy Orbison to Motown to the prog rock of A Whiter Shade of Pale.

And even more.

It’s impossible to fit every aspect of a decade into an evening – but The Bootleg Sixties did rather a good job of it.

We knew we had reached the end of the evening as it said 1969 on the stage, but the audience wasn’t happy. No, they wanted more. Happily, the band heard the cries for an encore and their final appearance delighted the dancing crowds. I may not remember the 60s (as I wasn’t there) but I’m sure I’ll remember the Bootleg Sixties show for a long time yet.

Clare Kelly