McConnection - Year 9, number 31 Paul McCartney fanclub
Last updated at 12:16pm on 8th June 2007
Sir Paul McCartney played his most intimate gig in years for an audience of just 1,000 fans - which included daughter Stella and her pal Kate Moss.
The Beatles legend is more used to playing huge stadiums and once performed before a crowd of 500,000 at the Colosseum in Rome.
But he went back to basics with yesterday's show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, north London, to celebrate the release of his new album, Memory Almost Full.
The secret gig was only announced yesterday morning and tickets were given away free on a first come, first served basis.
Fans queued around the block and tickets sold out in just 13 minutes.
A host of celebrities also turned out for the one-off show including supermodel Kate Moss, Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, The Office star Mackenzie Crook, pop singer Gareth Gates and Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri.
During the gig Paul McCartney dedicated a song to 'John, George Linda
and all the lovely people'
Crook appears with Hollywood actress Natalie Portman in the video for the star's latest single, Dance Tonight.
Moss sang away to Hey Jude from the venue's balcony, where she watched the show in the company of the star's daughters, Stella and Mary.
Sir Paul played a 90-minute set packed with Beatles hits and songs from his new album.
Barbara Orbison and Olivia Harrison joined the high profile crowd
He kicked off with Drive My Car and ended with Hey Jude before returning for an encore of Let It Be, Lady Madonna and I Saw Her Standing There.
In between he played the likes of Blackbird, Back In The USSR, The Long And Winding Road and Wings favourite C Moon.
He was joined on stage by his four-piece band. "It's a little while since I played a gig like this," he told the audience to huge cheers.
Sir Paul looked delighted to be back on stage before the adoring crowd and made no reference to his ongoing divorce battle with Heather Mills.
Memory Almost Full is the star's 21st studio album and was released on Monday on the newly launched Starbucks record label, Hear Music.
Fans spotted that the title was an anagram of For My Soulmate LLM - the initials of his late wife, Linda Louise McCartney - although McCartney himself has not commented.
There was a poignant moment during the gig when Sir Paul sang Here Today, which he wrote for John Lennon.
"This one was written for John. I would like to dedicate this song to all our fallen heroes - John, George, Linda and all the lovely people," he said. "Let's hear it for them."
After performing the acoustic song, he said: "It's a difficult song to sing, that one. We love 'em."
The sound was perfect, the band were supertight and Paul McCartney's voice was as rich as ever, writes reviewer John Aizlewood.
"It’s been a while since we played a gig this size," said Sir Paul McCartney, surveying the Electric Ballroom - the venue his band Wings used as a rehearsal space in the Seventies. "We ought to do more."
If last night is any yardstick, they should do more of these intimate shows. The "secret" gig (if being announced on national radio and across the internet means "secret") was the hottest free ticket of the year and no wonder.
An audience including McCartney’s daughters Mary and Stella, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Texas’s Sharleen Spiteri, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan, George Harrison’s widow Olivia and, with weary inevitability, Kate Moss, could scarcely believe their luck: a live Beatle playing some of the songs that form the very DNA of popular music in a venue holding fewer than 1,000 people.
This being McCartney, nothing was left to chance in his first British date with a band since Glastonbury 2004: the sound was perfect, the band were supertight and his voice was as rich as ever, even when exposed on the solo, acoustic Here Today, plucked from 1982’s Tug Of War.
The man who will be a pensioner in 10 days was in remarkably cheery fettle over his 90 minutes.
There was no talk of divorce and no mention of Heather Mills. Instead, his thumbs were held aloft, he shouted "calm down, calm down" in his best Scouse and he found his joke about "Camp Den" (an imaginary, "artistic" type whom McCartney pretended Camden was named after) so funny that he repeated it.
Despite mostly ignoring Wings (although C Moon was received like a longlost grandparent), McCartney was in a musically expansive mood.
He introduced five songs from his new album, Memory Almost Full (it seems safe to assume the "you can come on to my place if you want" line on Dance Tonight was not meant to be taken literally), but he went further back than The Beatles, covering Carl Perkins’s classic Matchbox, as did the Fab Four in their pre-fame, Hamburg days.
The most moving moment came with Here Today. Stark, beautiful and originally a tribute to fellow former Beatle John Lennon, it also now marks the passing of "fallen heroes" Linda McCartney and George Harrison.
"That was," he sighed, "a difficult song to sing." Yet the sombre tone was isolated and the Beatles canon was raided in celebratory fashion.
Back In The USSR, Get Back and Lady Madonna were hard-rocking; Let It Be almost hymnal; and best of all, Hey Jude, which ended the set and restarted for the encore, was a spine-tingling burst of community singing as the audience na na na’d like they had never na na na’d before.
An evening as special as it should have been.
Full Set List • Drive My Car
• Only Mama Knows
• Dance Tonight
• C Moon
• The Long And Winding Road
• Follow The Sun
• Calico Skies
• That Was Me
• Here Today
• Back In The USSR
• Nod Your Head
• House Of Wax
• I Got A Feeling
• Get Back
• Hey Jude
• Let It Be
• Lady Madonna
• I Saw Her Standing There