Sunday, 19 December 2010

McCartney at Hammersmith Apollo Review

Well a couple of weeks ago, I wouldn't have expected to be writing a review of Paul live in concert at the relatively intimate Hammersmith Odeon (or Apollo as it is now called).

The announcement came out of the blue and then tickets came my way courtesy of a 'boardie' on the official Paul fourm. Many thanks for that unexpected offer!

The weather seemed to be the only thing stopping us getting to the concert. To be honest it was a dangerous journey and in many ways I was a little surprised that the concert went ahead. However, once there, the weather was forgotten for a couple of hours and the tension built and we waited for the show to begin.

Of course, in these interactive days you pretty much know the set list before the gig, which does take some of the surprise away. However, Paul has been mixing up things a little recently so nothing was set in stone.

I have seen Paul a few times, but have pretty much decided that the big outdoor and indoor venues are not for me anymore, so this opportunity was not to be missed. A proper gig. How about a UK tour of these kind of venues Paul?!

Paul still puts on such a fantastic show, that you can't help enjoying every moment, even when you know what is coming next, even down to the 'ab-libs'. I think the WHOLE WORLD now knows George used to play the Ukulele or that Blackbird originated with Paul and George playing Bach on guitars. Oh well, time for some new tales Paul....but you still raise a smile and a chuckle, the guy is  charasmatic.

Listening to your musical heritage is always an emotional experience,  you feel proud to be there, watching the best show in town with songs that shaped lives. As Paul gets older is voice does not quite hold up like it once did but the experience is still fantastic and the majority of the songs still sound great.

However, songs like Jet, Band on the Run and Long and Winding Road can be hit and miss, with the misses getting more common, but when you are there the pure euphoria and joy takes you away from some of the imperfections. I still think they these need to be replaced though with other Macca gems, but tonight they sounded good. Paul really was on top form and vocals were strong throughout and the band tight and having fun. You could just come and watch Abe's antics. He is so funny!

Maybe I'm amazed made a return to the set list in these recent series of concerts, and being my favourite Paul song, I was a little concerned that he would not do it justice. However, to be fair, it was a very good and emotional performance and being played back to back with 1985, another one of my absolute favs, I was in my element.

Other big highlights were I'm Looking Through You (an underated gem), Sing the Changes (really great live), Here Today (nailed the vocal) and Back In The USSR (rocked the house). 

He played One after 909 from Let It Be (but of course it dates back to the very early Beatle days), it was fun to hear and nice to have a new addition to the set list. However, I can't help thinking that a 'Listen to what the man said', "'Juniors Farm' or 'No More Lonely Nights' would have been better. The same with the cover of 'Hitch Hike' too really, although it was another good fun moment. As was the quirky and jokey Petrushka.  Anyway, I'm being a little picky! I was singing along with the best of them.

Strangely two of my least favourite Paul songs, Dance Tonight and Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da are great fun live and the audience really enjoyed them, as did Macca.

I can't really complain about anything, great venue, great view, Paul and the band sang and played really well. The Christmas spirit was present and Wonderful Christmastime was so close to the record I thought he was miming! The choir that joined the band added to the good feelings of the evening.

Despite hearing them for the millionth time the reaction that he gets when Hey Jude, Yesterday and Let It Be are played speaks volumes. You forget that at each concert there is a good percentage seeing Paul for the first time and their reaction is there to be seen. Although, I'd still love a radical set list change and to try and keep some of these songs in but perhaps with some more rotation. I think it can be safely said that he has the back catalogue over the last 50 years to do that!

All in all a fantastic evening and when Paul nails it, he is unbeatable. He did that on this cold Saturday night and warmed everyone's spirits, the fireworks during Live and Let Die literally did!

Click here for set list.

McCartney Hammersmith Apollo Set list

Main set

  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • Jet
  • Got to get you into my life
  • All My Loving
  • One After 909
  • Drive My Car
  • Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady
  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five
  • Maybe I'm Amazed
  • Blackbird
  • Here Today
  • I'm Looking Through You
  • And I Love Her
  • Petrushka
  • Dance Tonight
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Hitch Hike
  • Sing The Changes
  • Something
  • Band on the Run
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Back In The USSR
  • A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance
  • Let It Be
  • Live And Let Die
  • Hey Jude

Encore 1

  • Wonderful Christmas Time
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Get Back

Encore 2

  • Yesterday
  • Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • The End

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Details of a new McCartney album - True or false?

The below was found from another site which in turn was found on an engineering blog site. Make of it what you will. Remember the 'Pizza and Fairy tales' leaked album news!?

Anyway, below is the post in full. Just in case.....

I am an asst engineer with a major studio in New York.  I had the privalege of sitting in (well, I was doing some equipment work in and out of the room, and made sure I was  mostly 'in' when I figured out what they were working on) on a remixing session where McCartney's people were polishing up several new songs for an album next year. I heard 8 songs - I have no  confirmation that these are all slated for a new album, but they were definitely newer recordings and not remixes of older tracks as Paul's voice sounded the way it has in recent live shows - still fantastic but showing its age, a little lower register, etc. Paul was supposed to be there, but did not arrive by the time I had to make my exit (darn!) I do not know titles on most, so will have to give it my best guess.

This is a confirmed title. Someone mentioned "title track" indicating this may be the title of album(?) They spent the most time (half the session) on this. They were lavishing the kind of detailed attention to this, trying out different mixes, the way you would for a potential single release, and they'd be fools not to make this the first single. Its lyrics are Eleanor Rigby meets Bruce Springsteen - about a baby, a graveyard, and a young mother looking to the sky (Radio Sky) for hope and then dancing(?) It starts off stark and becomes uptempo in chorus  and its one of those infectious McCartney songs that does not leave your head. Strings (sounds like Kahne's work, though he wasn't at the session), guitar heavy chorus. 

Rockabilly, Crazy Little Thing Called Love type song. Paul doing Elvis  (similar vibe as That Was Me, but with more guitar). Only heard 2/3 of this.

This is another good pop number. See Your Sunshine style - reminds of an early to mid 80s type song, but catchy as hell and like Sunshine,  great bass playing (they had it turned up to work on EQ of bass - main reason for playing this track).

Ska-reggae Ob La Di style track. Played through it once, I heard about half, again catchy as hell, didn't catch many of the lyrics. They were talking about overdubs needed and whether to use live brass.

Pretty sure of title. Accostic guitar number. A "this is where I am in my life" type number - "I have love, I have everything I ever could have wanted..." is the first line. 

Not "Sea" from Rupert sessions. Sounds like Beach Boy's Surf's Up in tempo. This was in pretty rough, demo form.

This is a musically solid, mid-tempo rocker. Of course, this is the rumored title of a third Threatles song but I seriously doubt that's what this is or where this came from - sounded like Paul and his band. Pretty generic lyrics, nothing special in that dept. Another song that may be more of a demo.

Good mid-tempo pop number, "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry feel, starts off being a pro-environment message song, turns into song about cleaning up your own life/emotions to be positive. This sounded almost finished/more polished than all but the first song we heard. Wouldn't make a bad single.

Your Favourite Paul McCartney or Wings Single - New Poll!

I have added a new poll in the right hand column of my blog. Please continue to vote in the other polls if you have not done already though.

This time I want to know your favourite Macca single. These are based on UK releases, so sorry no Uncle Albert.

Once again, and I know it is very tough, but you have one selection only, so use it wisely!

I have not included The Girl is Mine because it is shite! (that and I consider it an MJ single with Paul as a guest as opposed to Say Say Say which is a Macca single with MJ as a guest). I have also decided to leave off Birthday (Live) as it is a Beatle track.

You can add comments on this thread too.

In the future, I will have a poll of 50 non single Macca tracks so that you can vote for your favourite of those too.

Friday, 10 December 2010


Been thinking all week whether to comment on 8.12.80. My view is people like Sean and Julian don't want it shoved down their throats every year and should be left alone.

Thought I would just post this to mark the week for the message to us all. I think telling those you love that you love them this Christmas is good advice. So JFDI.

Thanks to NBC

Paul McCartney on Jimmy Fallon 'Scrambled Eggs'

The original version of Yesterday performed for the first time!