ADAM Hastings took the direct approach to applying for a place in the re-booted Bootleg Beatles.

"I emailed Neil Harrison, telling him 'you're getting old; can I have your job?', but that didn't work!" he says, recalling his bravado. "A couple of years later, I sent a video of me doing a Beatles show, possibly not as good as The Bootleg Beatles, but that did work."

Bootleg Beatle Neil, one of the group's founders, is now their manager and Adam has taken his place as John Lennon since 2011, returning to York Barbican on Tuesday on a tour that marks the 50th anniversary of Revolver, the innovative record that redrew the map of popular music.

Adam had not specifically targeted the role of John Lennon in his burgeoning musical career. "Initially, I didn't even know this job existed. I kind of stumbled into it," he says.

"I did a jazz degree at Leeds College of Music...and I do still play jazz gigs when I can; whenever a mate of mine might need a guitarist or bass player, I get out my dusty fingers."

The Bootleg Beatles keep Adam busy with at least 100 gigs a year and festival appearances too. "We've done Glastonbury a few times, and the last time, we played there at the same time as The Rolling Stones were on the main stage," he says, joking of how "we've aged better than they have". "It was great planning: the Beatles versus the Stones, and we could hear them playing before we went on, which added to the occasion."

Glastonbury may well be on the Bootleg itinerary again this summer. In the meantime, they are on their March tour, keeping The Beatles' flame alight. "It's nice that some people feel like that about us, seeing us as their representatives on stage, but I must stress that The Beatles don't need us," says Adam. "They are their own juggernaut, but we're happy to be playing for their fans."

The Bootleg Beatles never rest on their laurels, always looking to make the Fab Four show even more fab. "The thing we do most is we all get our hands on what we can: Beatles books and films, watching The Beatles over those eight years, and we really have to focus on that period, when they were playing live, making their promos and all the interviews they did, squeezing everything out of that," says Adam.

Put on the spot to pick his favourite Beatles song in the show, he says: "Probably I Am The Walrus, where we have a string section playing live with us, and brass too, so we're recreating the recording, and I remember the first time I did it, I got goosebumps. For me, it's now one of the biggest-selling points of the show that we have the strings and brass."

News of the death of "fifth Beatle" Sir George Martin this week came after this interview was conducted, but no doubt it will add poignancy to the concerts that lie ahead, reminding us once more of his genius as a producer. Sir George had enjoyed the deeds of the Bootleg Beatles, by the way, calling their tribute a "terrific show".

The Bootleg Beatles play Harrogate Royal Hall on Sunday, 7.30pm, and York Barbican on Tuesday, 7.30pm. Box office: Harrogate, 01423 502116 or at; York, 0844 854 2757 or