The Analogues are a Dutch tribute act to the famous British rock and pop music band The Beatles. Founded in 2014, the Analogues' ambition has been to perform The Beatles' music from their later studio years live, using analogue and period-correct instrumentation. From the start the Analogues have distinguished themselves by performing songs and whole albums live, which The Beatles themselves never played live; supported by brass and strings. Appearance-wise the band makes no effort to look like The Beatles, but they are called masters at recreating and reproducing the original sound.
In 2015/2016 The Analogues went on their first tour both in Holland and abroad, playing the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour album.
In 2017 the band are touring with an integral performance of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, including a performance at the 17,000 capacity Amsterdam Ziggo Dome on 1 June 2017 to celebrate the album's 50-year existence.
In June 2017 Dutch national TV-broadcaster NTR aired a one-hour documentary about the painstaking process of analysing The Beatles' complex compositions and experimental use of studio equipment, as well as acquisition of the proper analogue instruments, in preparation of live rendition of the Sgt. Pepper's album. Before an album can be played, the multi-layered arrangements are fully written out by the band.
Also in 2017 the Analogues signed a six-record deal with Universal Music Group, for five live-played Beatles albums, plus one album with original material, inspired by The Beatles. All six albums will be released under the Decca label, which refused to sign The Beatles in 1962.
From the start, The Analogues have consisted of five core band members, four of whom are dyed-in-the-wool Dutch pop musicians, who have their own Wikipedia pages, augmented by money man Fred Gehring, who proved able to play the drums to the standard required by the other members:
Jac Bico – guitar, vocals
Fred Gehring – drums, vocals
Jan van der Meij – guitar, vocals
Diederik Nomden – keys, guitar, vocals
Bart van Poppel – bass, keys, vocals and producer
During concerts the band is reinforced by brass and strings players — at least a quartet of each. The five core members take care of the vocals and harmonies, and play all other instruments, with the exception of the tabla.
As part of the self-imposed quest to sound as close to the original recordings as possible, the Analogues have amassed an impressive collection of musical instruments, amplifiers and what have you, including a black-and-white Rickenbacker-guitar like John Lennon had, a lightblue Fender Stratocaster like George Harrison's and a Höfner violin bass as used by Paul McCartney. Five pianos, ten organs, over twenty-five guitars, a Ludwig drum kit, and an assortment of wind instruments are not enough to satisfy the demanding Beatles arrangements. Exotic musical instruments from India are required as well, including a dilruba, a swarmandal, a tanpura, a tabla, and obviously a sitar. Further special instruments include a one metre long harmonica in The Fool on the Hill and a clavioline keyboard as used by John Lennon in Baby, You're a Rich Man.
Chief analyst of the music to be played is bass guitarist and producer Bart van Poppel. After thorough archeology of an album's arrangements — sheet music is not available — and consultation of Andy Babiuk Beatles Gear "bible" of Beatles instruments, the hunt begins for the necessary gear. For instance for a 1965 Lowrey Heritage Deluxe organ, or one of only thirty known existing mellotrons from a particular series, used in the intro of Strawberry Fields Forever. Even if an instrument is used on only one track, they will get one, and in at least one case it took a full year to obtain a piece.
For their 2017 Sgt. Pepper's tour, the band now requires two full-size semi-trucks to haul all their gear.
In 2014 Amsterdam-based newspaper Het Parool reviewed the podium premiere of the Magical Mystery Tour and described the Analogues' sound as eerily close to the original. In 2015 Dutch paper De Volkskrant wrote that the band brought The Beatles' sound back to life frighteningly well. In 2016 the Eastern Daily Press reviewed a Norwich performance as a ".. musical wonder .." providing a ".. truly magical experience .." to hear the Beatles' studio songs starting with the 1967 'Magical Mystery Tour' that they themselves never performed on stage, played live and authentically.