James ' Show In Liverpool 25-02-2010
this blog, James has launched his first UK tour yesterday and here are two reviews from the Liverpool Daily Post
Review: Beatle Sir Paul McCartney's son James McCartney performs first gig in Liverpool
Feb 26 2010 by Jo Kelly, Liverpool Daily Post
FORMER Beatle Sir Paul McCartney's son started his first UK tour in the birthplace of The Beatles last night.
Looking like a younger, blonder version of his old man with a blue guitar slung around his neck, James McCartney performed for the small but eager crowd.
McCartney opened by dedicating his first song, New York City, to his Liverpool family and, although his dad wasn’t back stage supporting him, his well-known rock photographer uncle Mike was.
The 32-year-old also dedicated a song, called My Friend, to George Harrison, whose birthday it would have been yesterday, and paid homage to Sir Paul with his performance of I Love You, Dad.
The 14-strong playlist mingled angry, powerful rock numbers with soft, peaceful ballads.
Simple lyrics and memorable melodies meant fragments of previously unheard songs stuck in the mind after just one play.
McCartney ploughed through his set quickly, introducing songs before singing them and moving onto the next. It wasn’t until a 50-something rocker yelled: “Go on Jim lad” that McCartney cracked a smile and seemed suddenly more confident and at ease.
He may have musical talent like the generation before him, but at times he seemed uncomfortable and lacked the showmanship and appeal of his doe-eyed dad. Despite this, the audience warmed to him and roared their applause as McCartney closed the concert with the words: “You are a heavenly audience. You’ve been the best audience in the whole wide world.”
this is london
Off the record: Who’d be the son of a Beatle?
Family favourite: “The music was inspired by The Beatles, Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Radiohead — all good music,” says James McCartney
Most people are not aware that Paul McCartney even has a son — never mind one making a tentative foray towards musical stardom.
But James, the quiet youngest child of Paul and Linda, has just embarked on his first UK tour starting, appropriately enough, in Liverpool last night and arriving in London next month.
What's remarkable is how little fanfare there has been. The children of celebrities ordinarily feel entitled to the spotlight, no matter how little they deserve it. James is playing tiny venues. On his MySpace page, the first port of call for any musician introducing himself to the world, he currently has just 232 “friends” — fewer than the average rural schoolgirl. By way of comparison, Dhani Harrison — George's son — has around 18,600 for his band, thenewno2.
McCartney Junior is not blogging, tweeting or using any of the other methods through which modern bands attempt to infiltrate your consciousness. The only photograph on his website does not show his face.
It's almost as if he doesn't want to be judged against the biggest popular songwriter of all time — and why would he? Now 32, he's avoided the spotlight for long enough, with various low-key pursuits including waiting tables in Brighton. Even when he started gigging solo last October, he did so under the alias Light.
The next generation of Beatles women had the right idea, notably Stella and Mary McCartney, who have built successful careers in fashion and photography respectively. Daddy's name may have helped to open some initial doors, but working in a different field means no daily inferiority complex.
The men, however, seem unable to avoid a musical destiny. Zak Starkey, Ringo's lad, has become a top-tier session drummer, notably backing The Who and Oasis. Sean Lennon has settled into a comfortable cult status having worked with the Beastie Boys, Marianne Faithfull and Mark Ronson.
Even Julian Lennon, who had a top 10 hit with Saltwater in 1991, will self-release his first album in 12 years later this year.
McCartney finally seems happy to join them in the realm of unwelcome comparisons, performing under that indelible surname and mentioning the B-word first among his influences. “The music was inspired by The Beatles, Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Radiohead — and all good music,” he says.
While operating in a very conventional pop-rock vein, he does sound different enough from his father. He also knows which end of his instrument to strum. One song goes from minor key tension to a barrage of guitars and screamed F-words, more grunge than moptop. Another piano ballad is extremely pretty, a softer showcase for a smooth, fairly high singing voice. The jangling guitars of his song Angel have most in common with early REM.
However, he doesn't sound much different to dozens of other hopeful singer-songwriters. Nor does he have the excuse of just starting out. “The songs were written over a 10-year period,” he says. If he's wary of the spotlight, it doesn't look like it will be troubling him too much — but attracting a cult following is probably the way he'd prefer it.
9 March, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, N1 (020 7419 4696; www.hoxtonsquarebar.com) 10 March, 100 Club, W1 (020 7636 0933; www.the100club.co.uk)