Bootleggers spread good vibrations
THEY might just be bootlegging but attention to detail and harmony-laden tributes that hit the sweet spots suggest they could in fact be the genuine article.
Capturing the magic of one of music's most loved and celebrated outfits, the Bootleg Beach Boys unleash the surf theme anthems and doo-wop infused hits that evoked the spirit and essence of the pursuit of the American Dream in the 1960's.
"We try to nail the Beach Boys sound at the height of their game, when they were at the top,” said Bootleg Beach Boy Fran King, who takes on the monumental task of performing as legendary Brian Wilson and his brother Carl.
"We make sure that we nail all the mannerisms that real fans and people who are there to hear the hits will know.”
Along with Irishman King, who also plays bass and acoustic guitar, the group are made up of a well seasoned line up of multi-instrumentalists and vocalists.
Bootleg Beach Boys creator Joe Mullins, who serves as the group's musical director, plays instruments and voices Al Jardine and Bruce Johnson.
Damian Butler drives the infectious '60's beat on drums and percussion and voices the parts of Dennis Wilson and Mike Love.
Mark Maguire and Joe Leech add the infused harmonies that make The Beach Boys instantly recognisable, and play lead guitar and bass respectively.
The band tackles classics like In my room, God Only Knows, Good Vibrations, Help me Rhonda, and pays homage to the genius of Brian Wilson through selections from albums Pet Sounds and cult favourite Smile.
Wile the group's attention to detail extends right down to recreating Californian accents, the real magic lies in musical authenticity.
"There was lots of research involved and while the musicality was kind of first hand, the big learning curb was vocally,” King said.
"Musically, the melodies were amazing but their trademark was their harmonies. Learning those parts were difficult, so you need to think on your toes
" To sit down and flesh it out was a huge challenge and we take great pride in bringing it to people.”
Through their performances, the Bootleg Beach Boys offer a point of difference in a music industry over saturated with tribute acts.
While the likes of Abba, Queen, Kiss and a litany of other celebrated groups are recreated with regularity, it's a rarer commodity to find a Beach Boys tribute which hits the mark.
With their wigs, clothes, accents and musical ability, the Bootleg Beach Boys manage to achieve their aim with authenticity.
As to why that's a rare feat, perhaps the answer can be found in the music.
"The reason no one does them these days, I think, is that it's too bloody hard,” King said with a laugh.
Bootleg Beach Boys
- Where: Twin Towns
- When: Saturday night
- Tickets: From $50. twintowns.com.au