It may be the middle of winter, but The Bootleg Beach Boys say they're touring New Zealand at the perfect time of year.

"It's instant summer," says Fran King about their tribute performance, which is stacked with more than 30 feel-good Beach Boys hits like Surfin' Safari and Good Vibrations.

"You can't help but feel upbeat and positive with this catalogue of songs."

King and his four Hawaiian-shirted bandmates first formed in Ireland three years ago and have been touring as a Beach Boys tribute act ever since.


They play hits from throughout the Californian band's four-decade career — yes, that includes songs from their controversial album Pet Sounds — and pride themselves on delivering a show exactly as you'd hear from Brian Wilson, Mike Love and co in their prime.

"We perform them fastidiously, and with the affection of a fan, which is what we all are of
The Beach Boys, first and foremost," says King, the frontman who sings Wilson's melodies.

In New Zealand, The Bootleg Beach Boys are playing 19 dates over a nearly month-long tour.

Demand to see them keeps growing.

"Last year we were in Dubai, France, the UK, Australia, Belgium and Holland, as well as domestic shows in Ireland," says King. "This band takes up a lot of our year."

Some of that demand may be because the original Beach Boys haven't played together since 2013. And due to infighting and personal issues between cousins Wilson and Love, that's unlikely to change. "[They] might get together again — but not with me," Wilson told Rolling Stone last year.

As ticket prices range between $55 to $100, seeing the Bootleg version of the group is not a cheap night out but King says they provide value for money. He points to the band's long sets and perfectionism, with their show including costume changes and stage banter of the kind you'd hear from Wilson and Love in the 60s.

King also says they refuse to use backing tracks, playing all their covers live and "and in the original keys".


"We pride ourselves on our authentic sound and attention to detail," he says. "We're not the kind of band you see in pubs. ou don't just get a ticket, you get all the love we've poured into this."

• The Bootleg Beach Boys perform at the Bruce Mason Centre on August 16. See Ticketmaster and Ticketek for more dates and details.