Senior shredder service engineer Ben appears in Yorkshire Post
By day, UNTHA UK’s senior service engineer Ben Styles is a popular member of our projects team, ensuring clients’ industrial shredders are well installed and operating smoothly, throughout the country. But by night we learn that he has a very interesting hobby…
He spoke to The Yorkshire Post recently about his passion for playing bass in a Beatles tribute band. If you missed the article, you can read it in full here:
They say first impressions count. So I suppose it’s no surprise that when people meet me and see my 3-inch bleached mohawk, they don’t expect me to be in a Beatles tribute band. But if they were to come along and watch me and my three fellow musicians in action, they’d hopefully be pleasantly surprised.
Named the Tragical History Tour – taken from the spoof Beatles film ‘The Rutles’ – we gig up and down the country, playing the hits from arguably the greatest rock band of all time. Our diary is currently full of weddings, party bookings and club nights that will see us perform at least once a fortnight for months to come. When we formed in 2008 to share our love for Beatles music, I don’t think even we envisaged we’d be going so strongly six years later.
I learned to play guitar in 1990, inspired by a friend and colleague who was in a band himself. I was impressed by their talent and the fun they looked to be having on stage, and, as an avid music listener, I sought the same buzz they got from playing.
So I bought my first six string electric guitar and taught myself. It was a long and often frustrating process, listening to music and trying to mimic what other people did. But perseverance and passion saw me gradually pick it up. I switched to bass guitar at University, because a band in my halls of residence had a ‘vacancy’. And I’ve loved playing bass ever since.
Now armed with my Fender Jazz, I am bass player and backing vocalist for the Beatles act. Abbey Road was the first album I ever listened to, so there is no better fit for me musically. But my involvement with the band came about almost by accident. A drummer friend of mine had written a Beatles medley for his fiancé, and asked me to play bass on his twenty minute piece. Yet we shared such a love of the music and a commitment to doing the songs justice, that the idea for a band was born.
It helped to have contacts who would give us a shot on club nights. But we also drove around dozens of pubs leaving demo CDs that led to us being invited back to play. I like to think it is our attention to detail that gets us noticed. Yes we want to please the crowd and play the hits that people of all ages continue to love, forty to fifty years later. And for the die-hard fans we cover the lesser known album tracks too. But we are obsessed about the music. On appearances, we may be the least likely Beatles tribute band ever, but we pride ourselves on perfecting every note, so that we recreate songs exactly as they should be played.
Our ‘career’ highlight has to be playing at the Liverpool Philharmonic, in front of 2,000 people. The atmosphere – with everyone on their feet and singing back to us – was indescribable. The dream of course would be for the Tragical History Tour to take us to the Cavern Club. It may be an aspiration of many Beatles tribute acts, but with ‘Beatlemania’ showing no sign of fading, it seems there is plenty time to turn that ambition into a reality.