From Rolling Stone Magazine
Paul McCartney Revisits Beatles Classics, Solo Gems at Hollywood Bowl Marathon
3/31/10, 12:52 pm EST
Has Paul McCartney been borrowing Bruce Springsteen’s trainer? At 67, the former Beatle seems determined to suddenly turn his gigs into E Street-style marathons. When McCartney did an American mini-tour last spring and summer, fans (and, at the Coachella Festival, some curious acolytes) were astonished by shows that stretched out to the two-and-a-half hour mark. Returning to U.S. shores with a slightly revamped revue that he’s dubbed the “Up and Coming Tour,” McCartney now has an even longer set list that brings his concerts up to a plentiful two hours and 45 minutes. In other words, Rosalita ain’t got nothing on Eleanor Rigby.
After a kickoff show in Arizona, McCartney chose to bring his 2010 tour to the Hollywood Bowl, site of the Beatles’ legendary 1964 and 1965 appearances. He’d been back to the Bowl once as a solo artist, in 1993, but naturally got ruminative about this latest return Tuesday night, in the first of two shows at the historic venue. “The first time we came here, we were little kids,” he told the crowd. “It looks like that now. Then, we thought we were great big men… You couldn’t hear anything we were singing because of the girls screaming.” If he was fishing for a swell of girlish screams, he got it. “Yeah, like that! But nowadays, we are louder.”
And longer. The Beatles’ sets in the mid-’60s usually lasted barely a half-hour and consisted of just over a dozen songs. At Tuesday night’s Bowl show, out of 38 songs that were played in full or (in a few cases) in part, no fewer than 22 were Beatles songs — almost twice as many as the screaming girls would have heard (or at least seen) at the Fabs’ own shows back in the day.
The essentials of the set list were familiar to any southern Californians who made the trek to Coachella a year ago, or who caught up with the 2009 tour via a live CD set and DVD that were filmed at last summer’s New York Citi Field shows. But he’s mixed it up enough in the new year to please even frequent flyers. The show now begins — as it did on the “Wings Over America” tour, McCartney’s one concert trek of the 1970s — with “Venus and Mars” and “Rock Show,” though there was just enough of the latter number to get to the line about “rock & roll at the Hollywood Bowl” before the opening medley kicked over to the more familiar “Jet.” Another “Wings Over America”-era number, “Letting Go,” is being reintroduced as a staple for the first time since 1976.
But this tour also features several premieres that have never been part of a McCartney (or Wings, or Beatles) tour before. “This is a song we have not performed on American soil,” he said by way of prefacing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” such a crowd favorite that it’s amazing as dedicated a crowd-pleaser as Macca has never gotten round to it live. John Lennon famously hated the tune, but you had to wonder if even if he might’ve approved of this arrangement, which de-emphasized the piano in favor of an organ part that slyly established the 1968 oldie as an actual ska song.
Also making their tour debuts: the Beatles’ “I’m Looking Through You” and the once prescient, now nostalgic “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five.” The latter brought the tally of songs performed from 1973’s Band on the Run to four — an honor shared, numbers-wise, with the similarly well-represented Let It Be and the White Album.
As with last year’s shows, McCartney covered two of his fellow Fabs, doing a version of George Harrison’s “Something” that started as a solo ukelele rendition before kicking into a familiar full-band arrangement, and appending a singalong of John Lennon’s non-Beatles “Give Peace a Chance” to the mostly Lennon-penned “A Day in the Life.” His ’80s elegy for Lennon, “Here Today,” described as being “in the form of a conversation I didn’t ever have with him,” further cemented the decidedly Beatles-centric tone of the show. If you hate the Beatles and think Paul didn’t really hit his stride until he hooked up with Denny Laine, be sure to go home early: Once the show gets into its last 14 numbers, only one — the fireworks-laden “Live and Let Die” — is not a late-1960s chestnut.
Is Paul pandering to nostalgia in his old (or at least post-”When I’m 64″) age? Possibly. But for the tiny percentage of attendees who might think that’s a bad thing, there are more than enough signs of ongoing vitality. McCartney’s last two albums, Memory Almost Full and Electric Arguments (the latter released under the name the Fireman), were his two most invigorating works since the early ’90s. Memory is now represented in the set only by the mandolin-driven “Dance Tonight,” and is more of an interlude than a highlight. But Arguments‘ “Highway” and “Sing the Changes” would do a rocker one-third McCartney’s age proud. (As on last year’s tour, the latter number was accompanied by a spacey filmic backdrop that had a computerized visage of President Obama morphing into and out of a 2001-style starfield.)
Moreover, McCartney has had the wisdom to stick with a terrific four-man backing band that — seemingly paradoxically — mostly replicates the original Beatles and Wings arrangements, yet still brings a slight garage-band flair to those duly faithful arrangements.
And Macca himself? He never once avoided any of the night’s repertoire’s hundreds of high notes (except for a slight downward deflection at the end of each chorus of “Two of Us,” which seemed to be an artistic choice, not a vocal mandate). And he doesn’t shy away from his classic Little Richard-influenced howls any more than he does his falsetto. When, more than two and a half hours into your show, you’re able to slate “Helter Skelter” as your penultimate number, you’re making a better argument for the benefits of veganism than the PETA booth out in the lobby ever could.
One other completely superficial note: Macca may be rocking the suspenders look like no one this side of Larry King… But, at 67, still no sign of a gut! We should all be “Letting Go” this much.
After a second night at the Bowl, McCartney is set to play Miami April 3rd, followed by trips to Puerto Rico, Ireland, and the U.K. in April and June. Further U.S. dates are promised but yet to be announced. Expect some real Fab Four-style screaming from fans if he fails to bring what is widely considered his best set list ever back to the States for a full tour.
The Hollywood Bowl, March 30, 2010:
“Venus And Mars/Rock Show (excerpt)/Jet”
“All My Loving”
“Got To Get You Into My Life”
“Let Me Roll It” (with “Foxy Lady” coda)
“The Long And Winding Road”
“Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five”
“(I Want To) Come Home”
“I’m Looking Through You”
“Two Of Us”
“Sing The Changes”
“Band On The Run”
“Back In The U.S.S.R.”
“I’ve Got A Feeling”
“A Day In The Life (abbreviated)/Give Peace A Chance (excerpt)”
“Let It Be”
“Live And Let Die”
“Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)/The End”
Stella's Gap Seconds
29 March 2010
AS part of her second kidswear instalment for GapKids (which launches today), Stella McCartney has introduced two exclusive T-shirts to be sold in selected London stores to raise awareness for her environmental campaign, Meat Free Monday.
Started by the designer, along with her sister Mary and her father Paul, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption.
"MFM [Meat Free Monday] is about us all taking control of the environment we live in for our kids and the generations to come. Whether you eat meat or not, you can be part of this decision to limit the meat industry destroying our planet's resources," explains McCartney.
Printed on organic cotton, there is a design for a boy and a girl featuring a superhero and Stella's signature Intarsia leopard, respectively.
Talking of the rest of the collection, the designer tells this weekend's Sunday Telegraph magazine: "These are not trophy clothes. They are designed to be worn."
Of her sell-out success the first time round - especially the embroidered military-style jacket - she adds: "Every woman I knew who had kids was texting me asking for that jacket and that knitwear. After my womenswear shows none of my girlfriends are like that - everyone's a bit more cool and subtle - but with kids it's different. I love it."
Stella McCartney for GapKids is available from today.
From The LA Times
Live review: Paul McCartney rocks the Hollywood Bowl
March 31, 2010
It’s hard to think of much in the pop music world more impressive than a 67-year-old musician holding forth for nearly three hours, outdoors on a chilly March night, while delivering some three dozen songs, the least of which would be a career highlight for almost any other artist.
Perhaps the only thing more mind-boggling than that description of Paul McCartney’s sold-out show Tuesday in the first of his two nights this week at the Hollywood Bowl was the realization when it was all over that, without much trouble and no serious dip in quality, he could have filled another set of that magnitude with all the choice Beatles, Wings and solo tunes he didn’t get around to: “She Loves You,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Getting Better,” “She’s Leaving Home,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Hi, Hi, Hi,” etc. etc. etc.
It was no-brainer that he'd open Tuesday’s concert with “Venus and Mars Rock Show,” what with its line in the chorus about a “rock 'n' roll at the Hollywood Bowl.” The rest was a romp through nearly half a century of some of the most enduring rock music ever written. And that’s just his portion of it, although he did make generous nods to departed colleagues John Lennon — singing “A Day in the Life” and “Give Peace a Chance” — and George Harrison, in a reading of “Something” that went from lighthearted to deeply moving, something McCartney does effortlessly.
The minor shock of the evening was that Ringo Starr didn’t get so much as a mention, although his presence was felt in some of the vintage film clips used as a visual backdrop to a couple of songs as well as during the pre-concert programming on the giant video screens that flanked the Bowl’s stage.
McCartney’s ace four-piece band re-created the sound of the various original recordings accurately, without being slavish, although some string and horn parts delegated to keyboardist Paul Wickens to handle by way of synthesizers were a disappointment in “Eleanor Rigby,” “Lady Madonna,” “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “Yesterday.”
If Paul McCartney can’t scare up some bona fide orchestral players, in Hollywood no less, who can?
The show’s star was relaxed as ever, downplaying his superhuman musical achievements. And even if it wasn’t spontaneous, his brief pause early on so he could step back from the microphone, cast his gaze around the Bowl’s expansive territory -- where the Fab Four made historic visits 4 1/2 decades ago -- and “drink it all in” was clearly heartfelt.
The set hewed considerably closer to the mainstream than his edge-exploring performance last year at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, and it included a couple of selections he said he’d never played in the U.S. before this tour: “Nineteen-Hundred and Eighty-Five” from “Band on the Run” and the Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”
That perfectly suited Hollywood’s middle-of-the-road crowd, consisting of old-school Beatles fans revisiting their formative years side by side with a sizable contingent of teens and pre-teens smack dab in the middle of theirs, with McCartney and the Beatles as the bond between them.
A word of advice to fans attending tonight’s Bowl show: Arrive plenty early. Tuesday’s show was delayed about 45 minutes past the scheduled 7:30 p.m. start time, in large part because some 18,000 concert-goers were funneled through a ridiculously small number of ushers scanning and hand-stamping their tickets. “Let ‘Em In,” indeed.
A full review will appear in Thursday’s Calendar section.
-- Randy Lewis
Paul McCartney kicks off tour with wild night in Glendale
by Ed Masley - Mar. 29, 2010 09:36 AM
The Arizona Republic.
With apologies to Ringo Starr, the Beatles' legacy couldn't have hoped to be in better hands at this late date than Paul McCartney's.
Forty years after the breakup, the former Beatle most likely to pack an arena launched his latest solo tour in Glendale on Sunday night with a three-hour set at the Jobing.com Arena that found him more than willing and able to serve as the Beatles' ambassador to the 21st century.
He was nearing the three-hour mark when he blew the dust off a ferocious "Helter Skelter" for the second encore, screaming like he hadn't aged a day since 1968, before sending the crowd on its way with a spirited medley of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" and the "Abbey Road" classic "The End" (which brought the final count of Beatles songs to 22). And the only song that seemed to give him any trouble was the early Wings' hit "My Love," where he briefly struggled with the high notes. Everything else was amazingly strong and soulful, with his touring band staying just faithful enough to the original recordings without it seeming like a tribute show. Their most valuable player, other than McCartney, was drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., who proved himself a master of the tumbling Ringo drum fill while bringing a muscular sense of physicality to the table.
Wearing a collarless jacket obviously meant to conjure memories of the early Beatles, he kicked off the show with a well-chosen medley of Wings hits - "Venus and Mars," an abbreviated "Rock Show" and "Jet," the first of several songs that seemed to hold back just enough to really kick in at certain key moments.
The night's first Beatles song came next - an effervescent "All My Loving" that I'd like to think was in that spot because it was also the first song the Beatles performed in their debut appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." He followed with another Beatles track, reaching back to "Revolver" for "Got to Get You into My Life," with the keyboard player handling all the horn parts while footage from The Beatles: Rock Band played out on the screen behind them.
For a show so firmly rooted in nostalgia, Sunday's concert wasn't shy about reminding fans that this particular legend is still out there making records. Five songs in, he went straight from "Revolver" to the Fireman's "Electric Arguments" for "Highway," a muscular rocker whose funky central riff was not that far removed from "Taxman" territory.
The set list blew off several years of major solo hits, in fact, to get to the recent material. The most recent Top 40 appearance in the set was the medley from "Venus and Mars." But we did get his latest recording, "(I Want to) Come Home" (from the Robert De Niro/Drew Barrymore movie, "Everybody's Fine"), in addition to "Dance Tonight" from "Memory Almost Full" and another the Fireman song, "Sing the Changes."
He did play five songs from his biggest post-Beatles release, 1973's "Band on the Run," though - the chart-topping title track, "Jet," "Let Me Roll It" (among the evening's more impressive vocals), a rollicking "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" (one of several tracks that made the most of his touring band's vocal harmonies) and "Mrs. Vanderbilt," an upbeat gem that somehow made its live debut two years ago in Kiev.
The other songs selected from McCartney's solo catalog were "Letting Go," a wistful "Every Night," the heartfelt Lennon tribute "Here Today," and a truly explosive rendition of "Live and Let Die," whose over-the-top pyrotechnic display McCartney later credited to a man named Shakey (for obvious reasons).
The rest of the night was devoted to the Beatles (unless you count that little Jimi Hendrix tribute with McCartney playing lead guitar over the groove to "Foxy Lady").
He didn't mess much with the early years. "All My Loving," "Yesterday," "Paperback Writer," "Day Tripper" and "I'm Looking Through You" were, in fact, the only the pre-"Revolver" tracks, while "Let It Be" got five selections, which is weird because McCartney's always had a problem with that album - especially Phil Spector's string arrangement on "The Long and Winding Road." What's weirder still is that he had his keyboard player do the Spector string arrangement on that song (which still sounds great).
"The Long and Winding Road," the title track and "Get Back" were all pretty obvious choices, but he also dusted off two songs that should've been hit singles - "Two of Us" and a scrappy rendition of "I've Got a Feeling."
Other highlights from the Beatles years included "Blackbird," which McCartney prefaced with an anecdote about how the classic acoustic riff had grown out of his and George Harrison's attempts at playing Bach; a ukulele-driven rendition of Harrison's "Something;" "A Day in the Life" (which segued into Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance"); a rollicking "Back in the U.S.S.R." and an encore performance of "Lady Madonna."
Throughout the night, McCartney's sense of showmanship was as loopy as ever. He's still the cute one that way. And he genuinely seemed like he'd have played another hour when he told the crowd, "There does come a time where we have got to go home. And strangely, it coincides with the time when you've gotta go."
Of course, by that point, he'd already given the audience everything a reasonable Beatles fan could look for in a rock show while making a case for himself as a still-vital artist whose recent work can hold its head high in the company of all those classics.
"Venus and Mars/Rock Show"
"All My Loving"
"Got to Get You Into My Life"
"Let Me Roll It"
"Long and Winding Road"
"Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five"
"(I Want to) Come Home"
"I'm Looking Through You"
"Two of Us"
"Sing the Changes"
"Band on the Run"
"Back in the U.S.S.R."
"I've Got a Feeling"
"A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance"
"Let it Be"
"Live and Let Die"
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)/The End"
Note from Nawel: huge setlist change, I've always wished him to play Venus and Mars,or Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five, but having them both is just like paradise.
Thursday 18th March - Reporting live from London’s O2 Arena…
Today finds Paul, the band and the team in North Greenwich at a little, under-the-radar location for rehearsals, also known as the O2 Arena. Just months after an electrifying Christmas show that brought 2009 and the 'Good Evening Europe' tour to a close, Paul has returned to the scene. It’s a slightly different sight that will greet Bat Man today though; the seats are empty, the arena is cold, no beer is being served (shame!) and there's not a sellout crowd of 20,000 people screaming their hearts out to some of the world’s most loved tunes.
There is however an arena full of 31 trucks worth of touring equipment, massive video screens, fancy computers, but most importantly, a stage setup with instruments on display, just waiting to be brought to life. Where does the world's biggest rock star rehearse ahead of a monster tour? At a place that's fitting for him - the world's most famous music arena, The O2.
This isn't a normal rehearsal, as this is not a normal tour. Today is the production rehearsal, which means the entire crew get to rehearse their jobs ahead of the opening. The riggers practice putting up the lights and getting the stage up and taking it all down again. The lighting team practice fancy new displays and the sound guys get to play about with some new ideas. Each part of the show needs to be nailed before hitting the road. The final but integral piece of the puzzle goes without saying: Paul. Production rehearsals give Paul the chance to get a feel for how the entire thing will look. Although, this got me thinking… there is one experience Paul will never actually get to enjoy and that's watching the experience that is the Paul McCartney live show.
So, it’s all go down here at the Dome! Paul is weeks out now from the opening night of his new 'Up and Coming Tour'. Final arrangements are being prepared and the entire band and all the crew are assembled together for the first time since the 22nd December, 2009. Spirits are high.
At almost exactly 13:00 the Batmobile arrives and Paul steps out. With little time to spare he heads straight to the stage stopping for quick hellos, hugs and handshakes on the way. When Paul takes to the stage with the band the empty arena comes to life and you can begin to imagine what the new show is going to look like. Paul and the band jam and road test a few new ideas, having to relearn some of his classic tracks at the same time. We won’t give anything away but amongst the team there is a feeling of a genuine excitement and total desire to get going with the tour and let the world share in our excitement.
Right now Paul should be focusing in on the shows but as ever there are a million (slight exaggeration) other questions being asked of him. Paul is very patient with us all and deals with our endless questions distracting him from the job in-hand. In the PR department we are always trying to schedule in interviews and promo shoots for the various projects Paul is working on. Today we interrupt Paul again, this time for a special cover feature that UK leading music magazine, Q Magazine, are putting together on Paul which will hit the shelves in the coming months. More news to follow on that soon. This is no ordinary assignment for the magazine and as such they have sent down their top man, editor-in chief, Paul Rees. Our Paul graciously takes time from today’s rehearsals to have a chat with Q. Earlier in the day Paul visited David Bailey’s studio for the cover shoot, which Paul tells us went very well whilst giving us a spot on impression of one the world’s most famous photographers. At the end of the interview we talk about the fact that every time Paul announces a tour someone in the world writes, ‘This is Paul McCartney’s Final Ever Tour’. He tells us that he always receives a flurry of texts from his friends saying they will have to come and see his show as they don’t want to miss the last one! Paul jokes that it is ‘probably a promoter trying to sell tickets’. For the record, we can confirm this is not Paul’s final tour. I made a note to myself that next time Paul announces a tour he should call it ‘This Is Not The Final Paul McCartney Tour’, although I expect some hack looking for a story somewhere would still manage to interpret that as Paul announcing his last ever tour! After the interview Paul returns to the band to get on with his proper job.
As we leave Paul rocking out on stage something caught my eye above Paul’s head. Hanging over him were two massive fancy looking balls. They looked very cool but I wasn’t quite sure what they were. So I headed to the lighting director’s setup. He explained that they are called ‘Puffer Spheres’. The spheres have images (custom designed by Paul) projected onto them and the results looks surreally awesome. They are hard to describe properly but the audience is in for a treat. With delight I can confirm that the ‘Up and Coming Tour’ boasts the coolest balls in rock n’ roll!
Meanwhile, the backstage offices are a hive of activity. The Paul-related requests from around the world are coming in thick and fast. On a weekly basis we are literally receiving hundreds of requests, but when touring comes around the requests almost double! All around the world dignitaries are asking for meet and greets, celebrities want tickets, fellow rock stars want to say hi, media want passes and the list goes on.
Towards the end of the rehearsal session I return to the main arena to watch what Paul and co are up to. The lights are down and the guys are all looking very serious, reviewing some of the screens. At one moment there is a long pause whilst they are waiting for a new image to appear on the screen and in complete stillness and darkness a famous voice can be heard over the PA system. “Police are looking for a man who has stabbed six people in the eye using a knitting needle… They think he’s following a pattern.” The crew erupts – silence broken. It’s going to be a fun tour!
The next few months are going to be mega. Another manic whirlwind of activity. The team are all set and can’t wait for it.
Keep tuned to PaulMcCartney.com in the coming days to see some exclusive rehearsal images and videos.
From The Daily Mail
Sir Paul McCartney performs at the O2... but just for a bit of practice
By Ben Todd
It is a far cry from the front room of 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool.
That is the location where a teenage Sir Paul McCartney used to practice with John Lennon and his fellow Quarrymen more than 50 years ago.
But these days McCartney uses rather more grandiose venues to rehearse with his band.
In fact, the 67-year-old has been preparing for his forthcoming tour – by rehearsing at the 23,000 capacity O2 Arena in south east London, one of Europe's biggest indoor venues.
McCartney secretly used the concert hall in South East London last Wednesday and Thursday, ahead of the beginning of his ‘Up And Coming’ jaunt in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend.
The tour comes to Britain in the summer, starting at the Isle of Wight festival on June 13 before finishing in Hyde Park, London at the Hard Rock Calling concert two weeks later.
The mammoth operation will need 31 trucks to carry all its equipment and will employ a full time crew of more than 150 people. And the outdoor stadium shows will use an astonishing 130 speakers.
It is all very different to his humble upbringing in the Liverpool suburb of Allerton.
Then he, John Lennon and George Harrison used to rehearse in the front room of the former council house, which is now owned by the National Trust because of it’s historic value.
Style Stalk: Stella McCartney's Low Key Look
Thursday - 1:00PM by FabSugar Australia
Stella McCartney was out and about in London recently sporting a tres chic nautical-inspired ensemble. She teamed a classic navy blazer with a cute striped top and wide leg jeans. Her look was finished off with sleek black aviators and a waisted belt. I love mixing stripes with denim, it's such an easy look but one which remains timeless and polished. Wanna steal her look as much as I do? Check out similar pieces below in our gallery.
Wales On Line
James McCartney on living in the shadow of father Sir Paul
Mar 19 2010 by David Owens, South Wales Echo
As Sir Paul McCartney prepares to take the Millennium Stadium by storm this summer his son James is set to play a more intimate Cardiff gig. Dave Owens quizzes McCartney Jnr about life in the shadow of a famous father
On Saturday, June 26 Sir Paul McCartney will be playing to 60,000 frenzied fans at the Millennium Stadium in one of the most eagerly-anticipated shows of the summer.
Rewind three months and tomorrow night his 30-year-old son James will be playing in front of 58,800 fewer punters at Cardiff’s 200-capacity Barfly venue.
Having to live in the shadow of a father whose image looms as large as The Beatles’ all-encompassing legacy, it’s not hard to feel a little sympathy for McCartney Jnr.
Forever to be compared with a legend whose back catalogue is the most treasured in rock history is a cross enough to bear, but when you’re the offspring of a Beatle to boot, making a career out of music may not immediately be the wisest or most sensible move.
Just look at Julian and Sean Lennon for ample proof of potential rock ‘n’ roll longevity.
Still that hasn’t stopped George Harrison’s son Dhani forming a band – newno2 – who peddle a fine line in elegant psych rock, while Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey has followed his father into the tub-thumping business to great effect as a gun-for-hire bashing the skins for The Who, Oasis and Kasabian amongst others.
So what persuaded James McCartney to follow suit?
“I have been playing music all my life really, but specifically when I was nine my dad brought me a three quarter size little Martin junior guitar, with four strings,” James explains. “He taught me simple chords and I was able to start playing from that point. But I think I have always been inspired to be a musician from when I was a little baby or for as long as I can remember.
“Music has always been a big part of my life, with my mum and dad’s influence, being on tour as a child and my whole family being very artistic and creative it was just a natural thing for me.
“Even my grandfather was an art collector, he inspired me as well; I have been inspired by everything. All music and everything outside of music, my heart, my family and artists like Picasso and Miro.”
For the offspring of a Beatle, the fab four are obviously a key influence, however he admits his music is inspired by “The Beatles, Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Radiohead – and all good music.”
“It is rock ‘n’ roll, clean sounding, heartfelt and vocal,” says James. “The words on the (forthcoming as yet untitled) album refer to spirituality, love, family and many other things.
“I have written the songs on this album over a 10-year period and am just making the final touches. We are mixing the record in Sussex and New York and it’s exciting to see the record coming together.”
At 30, he’s come to the rock arena relatively late, however he admits the performing bug took hold in his late teens.
“There was a particularly conscious point when I was 16 and I played a gig at school with a bunch of friends,” he remembers. “I was playing electric guitar, my red Silhouette, and we did a cover of Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash. From that point on I knew I wanted to play on stage and had found something I was good at. That is one track I might revisit on this tour actually and cover again.”
The tour, his first proper jaunt around the UK, climaxes in Cardiff tomorrow.
Does he have any expectations of how he will be received?
“I just want to get out there onstage, feeling good and getting more experience playing my album live.
“I guess just enjoying myself and honing the live performance. Hopefully seeing people enjoy the music and having a positive effect on them.”
Although he admits his dad has had a great effect on him as a live performer it’s late grunge icon Kurt Cobain who has left a sizeable imprint on James’ rock ‘n’ roll consciousness.
“Obviously first The Beatles, my dad, John Lennon, are inspirations as a live performer but I’d say Nirvana have had a big influence on my music and live performance too. I love the music, I love the art, it’s intense.”
Despite the tiny nature of the gigs on this tour, McCartney admits to aspiring to the sorts of enormodome shows his dad excels at.
“Yes, I like playing small intimate gigs,” he says.
“They are a bit more personal and I enjoy them but I would like to play all kinds of gigs.
“I’d like to play Wembley, I’d like to play festivals, huge free concerts, everything.”
And his hopes for the future?
“I just want people to become more aware of my music and enjoy it, and maybe get some crowds totally rocking!”
James McCartney, The Barfly, Cardiff. Saturday, March 20. 7.30pm. Tickets, £7 from 084 4847 2424.
From In Style
Kate Moss and Stella McCartney celebrate Gap launch!
Wednesday 17 March, 2010
Kate Moss was on hand to help close pal Stella McCartney celebrate her new collection for Gap Kids last night.
Kate Moss arrived at the Gap Kids collection launch looking every inch the boho style icon as she layered an easy tee and jean combo with a graphic print shawl complete with fringing – the perfect festival accessory!
Stella, who was debuting her second Gap Kids collection, wore a tailored trouser suit, which she underpinned with a simple white shirt for effortless sophistication.
Stella showed little sign of fashion fatigue after just closing her hugely acclaimed Stella McCartney show in Paris, which was attended by a plethora of A-list celebs from Thandie Newton to Beth Ditto and of course, Stella’s proud pa, Paul McCartney.
It seems the Stella force is in full swing and if you’re lucky enough to own a svelte figure then trust us when we say - it’s seriously worth trying to squeeze into some of those Gap Kids numbers … they rock!
By Kat Webster
From ELLE UK
Stella reveals her latest Gap Kids collection
By Emma Sells
Posted: Wed 17 Mar 2010
The Brit designer's famous friends came to see her much anticipated spring collection for GapKids yesterady.
Stella McCartney's first collection for Gap Kids was a hit with the fashion crowd as well as its stylish offspring - we spotted many a grown-up wearing her shrunken military blazer. So there's sure to be at least two generations of shoppers itching to get their hands on the latest offerings. Stella's new range for the American brand is due to hit stores at the end of this month, but she gave her friends a sneak preview of what's in store in London yesterday.
Best friend Kate Moss was, of course, on hand to offer support along with boyfriend Jamie Hince. And they weren't the only familiar faces in attendance. Laura Bailey, Graham Coxon, Charlotte Tilbury, Plum Sykes and Jeurgen Teller, all with kids in tow, turned out to eat jelly and ice cream and check out the clothes that we are determined to squeeze ourselves into.
Sure to be a sell-out are the Breton-striped tops, denim shirts, printed sun dresses and anchor printed sweaters, and all will be available from 9am on 29 March. Mark your diary now...
From News Of The World
Live: James McCartney
By John Earls, 16/03/2010
Hoxton Square, London
AS the first of Paul McCartney's kids to turn to music, James should be on a hiding to nothing - and he doesn't help his cause with a song called I Love You Dad.
Yet that's the sole moment of cheese in an otherwise confident and often unexpectedly dark show.
Facially, James is a dead ringer for his old man, but Macca Senior never wrote epic howls of pain like James' goth-influenced rockers Denial and Mix.
Only the Lady Madonna-style rock & roll of Spirit Guise resembles The Beatles.
Surprisingly, the major fault is James' awkward stage presence.
If he can overcome this, he'll be a name to watch in his own right.
Here are two reviews of James' gig in London ,I think that they insist too much on who's his father is rather the give an pinion about the performance witch is what they're supposed to do.,
From The Guardian
James McCartneyHoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London
Caroline Sullivan guardian.co.uk, Thursday 11 March 2010 22.35 GMT Article history
Shy ... James McCartney performing. Photograph: Phil Bourne/Retna Pictures
It must have taken a lot of self-belief for James McCartney to opt for a frontline career in music. Few mortals could expect to fill a Beatle's shoes, let alone someone who's inherited his DNA and faces the inevitable pitiless scrutiny. That could be why Macca's son, who's been writing songs for 10 years (though he's yet to release a record), has waited until he was 32 to tour. He's doing it from the bottom up, playing to small audiences who are there out of curiosity as much as anything (though the special relationship wasn't enough to keep a quarter of tonight's house from drifting off before the end).
McCartney's faith in himself as a craftsman is justified: he spent the set deftly swapping between guitar, mandolin and keyboards, and while his métier is primarily jangly rock, he integrated country and Steeleye Span-esque folk into the set without undue tokenism. He's a confident singer, too, giving it some yelping welly on Erratic Pulses – a punky noisefest reminiscent of his old man's Helter Skelter – and a power-pop thrashabout called Denial. The songs that allowed him to be soft and intimate, such as I Love You, Dad – yes, a tune about Macca senior – made the greater impression, though, because they compelled McCartney to face the audience without the cranked-up volume that otherwise acted as a shield between him and us.
What was missing was the killer song necessary for him to stand out from the indie-guitar hordes. If there isn't one, he'll have to cultivate more stage presence than he's got. When not actually singing, he was shy to the point where you wondered why he would submit himself to the public gaze – though he could yet develop into a chip off the charming old block.
At the Cooler, Bristol (08713 100 000), tomorrow. Then touring.
From The Times
James McCartney at the 100 Club, London W1Pete Paphides
Anyone could see that James McCartney, playing his maiden headlining London show, had a considerable cross to bear. The cross hanging in front of his open-necked shirt was an incongruously chunky adornment on the black-clad singer. Whether Paul McCartney’s 33-year-old son was burdened by a more symbolic weight though, was harder to gauge. It can’t be easy forging a musical identity with the knowledge kicking around in the back of your mind that Penny Lane and Eleanor Rigby didn’t exist before your dad wrote them.
And sure enough, the function of the first few songs, played by McCartney’s young band at a grungy canter, was to relax a frontman who — albeit without the hair and wrinkles — seemed to have inherited his father’s entire face, but not his extrovert ease. Only four songs in, on Listen, did McCartney seem to take proper leave of his inhibitions. Abetted by a female cellist, his voice chimed with a high, hopeful vulnerability redolent of Squeeze’s Glen Tilbrook. Beginning in a similar vein, on Denial McCartney navigated from a sweet 12-string guitar strum to a hoarse, cathartic roar on the chorus.
Indeed, for someone whose between-song body language seemed so bereft of entitlement, McCartney’s ability to let rip with a hoarse bellow was, at times, startling. On Mix — a song “all about the Devil”, apparently — he and his band unleashed a pleasingly infernal racket that not even the gormless mugging of McCartney’s fresh-faced drummer could spoil.
Presumably operating on the principle that if there’s an elephant in the room the smartest thing to do is play a song called There’s an Elephant in the Room, McCartney performed two songs about his father. In the case of I Love You Dad — a slight mandolin-driven thing that went: “I love you, Dad/ You know I always will” — an introduction was probably not wholly necessary. However, benefiting from a sunburst of three-part harmonies and melancholy mellotron, My Friend was eye-mistingly affecting.
In spite or perhaps because he lacked the natural showmanship of his dad, you found yourself warming to him — not least because of his readiness to acknowledge the privileges that had propelled him to this point. Not many singers, after all, get to say: “This is a guitar given to me by Carl Perkins on my 16th birthday.” From the mouths of others, it might have sounded like a boast. From James McCartney, it sounded like simple gratitude.