Chigwell’s Sandyman to rock the Royal Albert Hall with the Bootleg Beatles

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 May 2017

Tabla player Sandip Chakravarty aka Sandyman is set to perform with the Bootleg Beatles at the Royal Albert Hall

Tabla player Sandip Chakravarty aka Sandyman is set to perform with the Bootleg Beatles at the Royal Albert Hall


Sandyman is a popular musician in the Asian community and has performed for Sir Paul McCartney and been invited to Buckingham Palace. You would think that one of these moments would be the highlight of the 33-year-old’s career but it is his upcoming performance with The Bootleg Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra that Sandyman, real name Sandip Chakravarty, sees as the “turning point” in his career.

The tabla player, who lives in Chigwell and has been running Guru Soundz, an Indian musical instruments shop in Fowler Road, Hainault, for the past 13 years, revealed exclusively to the Recorder that he will be joining the full UK tour following the show at the Royal Albert Hall on June 1.

“We are celebrating 50 years of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band but what I haven’t announced yet is we are going to do a full UK tour in 2017.”

During the tour audiences will get to see Sandyman’s skills on the tabla, a south Asian drum, which he first developed a love for when he was a small child in Plaistow.

“I went to India to study it when I was eight years old. It was a difficult job going from London to Kolkata, I had to sit down for seven to eight hours a day learning tabla.

“It was a fantastic experience, if you want to learn the real thing Kolkata is where you need to be.

“I would say it educated me but the British people in the UK, the organisers and artists, have helped me a lot in my career as well.

“I’m also blessed in terms of Bollywood because I have performed with all the top Bollywood artists and they have also supported me in my career.”

When Sandyman hits the Royal Albert Hall stage it will be an extra special occasion as he performed at the iconic venue when he was 16 with the Newham Academy of music.

“It started my career and after 22 years going back to the hall is a great point in my life and it will be with one of my favourite acts.

“They’re the premium Beatles tribute band, they still tour the world and they have been to India as well.

“They are still huge in India, people are crazy about The Beatles, as soon as I mentioned it they said ‘wow’.”

The celebration of Sgt Pepper will not be the first time Sandyman has come across the Beatles because he performed for Sir Paul McCartney at his 60th birthday in 2003 when his now ex-wife Heather Mills booked him to perform.

In fact his percussion performances continued to impress so much that by 2011 he received a royal invitation to Buckingham Palace.

“I was invited to Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s garden party – they recommended me. When I found the card I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was such an honour to be there in the royal surroundings.”

Despite these past achievements the upcoming tour will be the highlight of Sandyman’s career and he is looking forward to providing the Indian influence that Ravi Shankar provided for The Beatles 50 years ago.

“The Bootleg Beatles came into my life and for me it’s a totally different audience and ambience where I can express myself.

“The Beatles in the ’70s used Tabla and Sitar Indian influenced sound. The Bootleg Beatles are bringing it back so they have chosen me for the Indian section and they said you will have to be with us for the whole UK tour.”

The UK tour will take Sandyman, The Bootleg Beatles and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from Newcastle to Wales but before then you can catch them at The Royal Albert Hall on June 1.

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