Paul McCartney last night began his first European tour in five years in Hamburg, the city where it all started for The Beatles,with old friends Klaus Voormann and Astrid Kirchherr in attendance,and Nancy of course.
Even thought the audience weren’t happy staying out in the cold for an hour, with Paul being late, but he has a very good excuse ,earlier in the day he was in England where he attended Beatrice's school play, then jetted to Hamburg for the show.
Sound check Hamburg:
01. Honey Hush
02. Honey Don't
03. Hamburg jam
04. Coming Up
05. All my Loving
06. I want to Come Home
07. Lady Madonna
08. Midnight Special
09. And I Love Her
10. Here Today
11. Dance Tonight
01. Magical Mystery Tour
02. Drive my car
04. Only Mama Knows
05. Flaming Pie
06. Got to get you into my life
07. Let Me roll it/ Foxy Lady
09. Long and winding road
10. I want to Come Home
11. My Love
13. Here Today
14. Dance tonight
15. And I love Her
16. Mrs Vanderbilt
17. Eleanor Rigby
18. Band on the run
19. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da
20. Sing the changes
21. Back in the USSR
23. I've got a feeling with extended jam
24. Paperback Writer with extended jam
25. A Day in the Life/ Give Peace a chance
26. Let it Be
27. Live and let Die
28. Hey Jude
29. Day Tripper
30. Lady Madonna
31. Get back
33. Helter Skelter
34. Sgt Pepper reprise into The End
Paul McCartney gets back to Hamburg, half a century onAfter a frosty start, the city where the Beatles grew up warms to moptop's return
Esther Addley guardian.co.uk, Thursday 3 December 2009 19.14 GMT Article history
Paul McCartney, 67, played no fewer than six instruments during a nostalgic set at Hamburg’s Color Line arena that lasted more than two and a half hours. Photograph: Joerg Koch/AFP/Getty Images
It's only 9.10pm, but it's a bitterly cold night and for some reason the doors of Hamburg's Color Line arena have opened a little late, forcing the audience to line up outside. The chilly crowd, at last in their seats, are restive. It starts as a grumble that becomes a slow handclap, but soon the collection of bald spots and sensible sweaters on the floor of the arena are making a sound that is unmistakably a boo.
Paul McCartney, emerging 10 minutes later, looks incredulous and not a little annoyed, as well he might. "Really?" he gestures at the crowd.
"You're booing me?" The venue for the launch of McCartney's first European tour in five years last night was chosen, he has said, out of affection for his old band's "training ground", the city where the baby Beatles learned how to play, discovered sex and amphetamines, cut their hair, gained a new drummer and lost their fifth member, bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, to art school and later a brain haemorrhage.
They arrived in the city in August 1960, a group of callow 18-year-olds (George Harrison was 17) who had barely played a professional show. Twenty- eight months and 281 tough gigs later they gave their last Hamburg performance on New Year's Eve 1962. Just over a fortnight later the single Please Please Me was released in the UK and the world changed.
Half a century later, McCartney is back, once again in a collarless suit and mid-heeled Chelsea boots with a Hofman bass slung to his left hand – and the Germans' first thought is of punctuality. His band burst into Magical Mystery Tour; it's a pretty effective riposte.
The audience's disrespect is the more perplexing since the city is belatedly starting to take pride in its Beatles association, after decades when only those in the know would have been able to trace their way through the red light district to the Indra, scene of their first contractual engagement in the city, or the Kaiserkeller, where John, Paul and George first met Ringo, or the Top Ten Club, where the Beatles played the longest residency of their career, 98 nights on the trot for 12 hours at a time, between March and July 1961. As John Lennon once remarked, if the Beatles were born in Liverpool, they grew up in Hamburg.
The hesitancy of Germany's most affluent city to market the connection, no doubt, was born of embarrassment. The Hamburg that the Beatles knew was a sleazy world of prostitutes, sailors, gangsters and fistfights – and very little has changed.
Taxi drivers boast that the cash economy on the Reeperbahn, the main red light strip around which the Beatles played, is so active that it boasts the busiest ATM in Europe; there is a street here down which women who aren't selling sex are physically barred from entering in case they distract the punters. Shakespeare's Stratford this ain't.
Half a century of neglect, however, has had one great advantage: most of the sites associated with the band are still standing and mostly unchanged – several of the old clubs, indeed, are still live music venues. Even the barber's where they are reputed to have requested a copy of Sutcliffe's arty new moptop is still in business.
With the opening earlier this year of a dedicated museum, Beatlemania, and the creation of a rather ugly but photo-friendly "Beatles square", the city finally has somewhere to direct its tourists.
Macca, it is fair to say, is not in bad nick either, bouncing about onstage with energy that is remarkable for a man galloping towards his eighth decade.
Though it is an unashamedly nostalgic set, on a stage backed with visuals showing old newspaper cuttings and photographs, this is not a man going through the motions.
Backed by the band he has toured with for a decade, he plays no fewer than six instruments during the set, but it is his 67-year-old voice that is most impressive.
Few musicians of his generation still have the ability to "woo!" like a teenager; McCartney makes it look easy.
The initial frostiness thaws as the gig progresses, and it does appear that the ex-Beatle has allowed himself a little sentiment about his return to the city, breaking into half-remembered snatches of Hamburg slang ("We'll have a little 'hummel hummel moss moss' tonight?') and bantering with a heckler who asks if he will be revisiting his old stomping ground?
"The Reeperbahn? Not tonight, no."
Two and a half hours after he started, McCartney is still going strong and the crowd is at last bellowing for more.
Live and Let Die, Hey Jude, Day Tripper, Lady Madonna, Get Back, Yesterday, Helter Skelter – one gets the feeling he could go on forever.
Hamburg, desperate to persuade McCartney to return next year to mark the 50th anniversary of his arrival, can only hope that he does.
Eight days a week in Hamburg
Indra, Grosse Freiheit 64
First Hamburg home of the Beatles, then a five-piece with Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums. They played 48 nights from August 1960.
Kaiserkeller, Grosse Freiheit 36
From October to December 1960, the Beatles alternated hourly with fellow Liverpool band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, whose drummer, Ringo Starr, they would later poach.
Top Ten Club, Reeperbahn 136
Live music venue where the band played its longest residency, 98 nights in a row, between March and July 1961.
Star Club, Grosse Freiheit 39
Biggest club in Beatles-era Hamburg, destroyed by fire in 1980s. Band's last Hamburg gig on New Year's Eve 1962.
Bambi, Paul-Roosen-Strasse 33
Cinema where the band lodged in 1960, in two windowless rooms next to the toilets and behind the main screen.
Beatlemania, Nobistor 10
Museum that opened this year, next to the new Beatles-Platz. Particularly good on the Hamburg years.