James McCartney plays Liverpool
It can’t be easy to open your UK tour in Liverpool, when your last name is McCartney… but not THAT McCartney. But still, it felt only right that James McCartney should kick of his first headline tour in the city that created the most famous group in musical history.
James was quick to acknowledge this connection, as he dedicated the first song, New York Times to his Liverpool family, of which his uncle Mike McCartney was present backstage. Three more rocking songs followed, until he paused long enough to say that the next song was dedicated to George Harrison, whose birthday it was that night, before launching into My Friend a very moving tribute.
Not only very adapt on the guitar, James switched to the piano for the next couple of songs, one of them bearing quite a resemblance to Lady Madonna, and definitely driving the point home, that this guy is influenced by The Beatles, but also Oasis, Blur and The Cure made their presence felt in the arrangement of his songs. His musical background shines through Although he is very good at writing melodic tunes, I find he sometimes overdid the instrumentation, and thus, somewhat ruining a song.
He also played a song on the mandolin, called I Love You Dad which was very sweet and moving. He closed the 12 song set with Angel then came back for an encore, playing a brilliant cover of Neil Young’s Old Man and Wings Of A Lightest Weight that may have been co-written with McCartney senior.
He sometimes seemed to struggle to communicate with the audience, keeping banter short and only announcing the name of the next song, lacking the flair of his old man. That was until some guy in the audience shouted out in typical Liverpudlian fashion ”Go on Jim lad!” after this, he seemed more relaxed and smiling.
At the end of the evening, he said his thanks to the audience, announcing, ”You are a heavenly audience. You’ve been the best audience in the whole wide world” and with a shy little wave, he was gone.
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