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McCartney's new touring band (the energetic Abe Laboriel Jnr. on the drum kit, Rusty Anderson on lead guitar, Brain Ray on bass and rhythm guitar and Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards of all kinds) gel effectively and each faithfully recreate the well known parts they play. All of them contribute backing vocals - on some occasions, it is difficult to distinguish their backings from the familiar Lennon & Harrison parts on the Beatles numbers. Wix on keyboards contributes some gorgeous orchestration when called upon to do so - "She's Leaving Home" being a particularly
Speaking of Beatles numbers, McCartney treats us on this show - 23 of them are given the treatment of his new band. "Getting Better" is performed for the first time ever by McCartney since it was "left on a shelf" after the 1967 opus "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" The remainder of the 36 tracks comprise standouts from his Wings and solo years.Read more ›
Perhaps the death of George Harrison has made the inclusion of more Beatles songs all the more poignant, but who can complain about the selection of songs when the set list contains 'Back in the USSR', 'Michelle', 'Let It Be', 'The Fool on the Hill' and 'Michelle'? There are some surprises too, with versions of songs like 'Mother Nature's Son', 'Getting Better' and 'She's Leaving Home' not previously played live by McCartney. Despite all the debate about writing credits in recent years, songs dedicated to both John Lennon (''Here Today') and Harrison (the ukelele driven 'Something') provide a fitting tribute to both.
There are still highlights from the Wings and solo era, including three tracks from 'Band On the Run', and a superb version of my favourite solo track 'Maybe I'm Amazed'.
Given the familiarity of the material, it is the energy and impetous given by the young and largely new band employed by McCartney which really bring this album to life - there are new arrangments on some songs, and Abe Laboriel on drums is simply a revelation.
If you're a Beatles purist, then this might not be for you - but for those of us who who don't remember the sixties first time around, then this is still a reminder of that amazing legacy, reinterpreted by one of the men who created it!
"Band on the Run" (a Wings song) was the big surprise for me as this literally made Liverpool rock and honestly got the biggest cheer of the night ! All the other solo hits are here including "Live & Let Die" , "My Love" and "Jet" plus an interesting acoustic section with Paul alone on guitar.
The Flaming Pie track "Calico Skies" also sounds much better with a full band and we are spared the dull "Mull of Kintyre" and "Ebony & Ivory" type slush that really sucks.
This album is a great retrospective of Sir Paul McCartney's highs of his career. The only criticism I would say is that they edited out all of his inbetween-song banter.
You may be a "Lennon" fan (who was the leader of the band) but McCartney was in , my opinion, the underlying force in the Beatles. So what I'm saying is that this really is a great live album by a man who will be remembered long after you and me have gone.Read more ›