Brian Wilson premieres new ‘song cycle’ in London

The Beach Boys legend also covers The Beatles

The Beach BoysBrian Wilson premiered his brand new ‘song cycle’ ‘That Lucky Old Sun (A Narrative)’ in London tonight (September 10).

The star, backed by his regular touring band and a string section, returned to his regular stomping ground of the Royal Festival Hall to showcase the nine-song suite, based on the classic 1949 song ‘That Lucky Old Sun’.

Similar in style to his legendary album ‘Smile’, which he performed at the same venue in 2004, the songs, with lyrics by Scott Bennett and interspersed with narratives provided by ‘Smile’ lyricist Van Dyke Parks, were a sentimental ode to Los Angeles and Wilson‘s past.

While the music was being performed many images of southern California appeared on the backdrops, as well as snaps of Wilson with his Beach Boys bandmates and brothers Dennis and Carl, who died in 1983 and 1998 respectively.

Wilson‘s new music was received warmly by the capacity crowd, who gave their hero a standing ovation at the end of the 45-minute set.

The set closer was a cover from The Beatles‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, marking the 40th anniversary of that album’s release.

Elsewhere, the evening’s entertainment also featured a cover of Chuck Berry‘s ‘Johnny B Goode’ and the usual Beach Boys classics such as ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Help Me Rhonda’, ‘Do It Again’ and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’.

But Wilson also took the time, as promised, to play a host of rarely performed tunes such as set opener ‘Girl Don’t Tell Me’, ‘Salt Lake City’, ‘I’d Love Just Once To See You’ and ‘She Knows Me Too Well’.

The set was:

‘Girl Don’t Tell Me’

‘Dance Dance Dance’

‘Salt Lake City’

‘Catch A Wave’

‘Then I Kissed Her’

‘In My Room’

‘Do You Wanna Dance?’

‘When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)’

‘She Knows Me Too Well’

‘I’d Love Just Once To See You’

‘Do It Again’

‘Please Let Me Wonder’

‘California Girls’

‘Sloop John B’

‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’

‘God Only Knows’

‘Heroes And Villains’

‘Good Vibrations’

That Lucky Old Sun (A Narrative): ‘Morning Beat’/’Good Kind Of Love’/’Forever You’ll Be My Surfer Girl’/’Mexican Girl’/’California Role’/’Oxygen To The Brain’/’Midnight’s Another Day’/’Going Home’/’Southern California’

‘Johnny B Goode’

‘I Get Around’

‘Help Me Rhonda’

‘Barbara Ann’

‘Surfin’ USA’

‘Fun Fun Fun’

‘She’s Leaving Home’

The tour continues tomorrow (September 11) with the second of six nights at the Festival Hall.

The remaining dates are as follows:

London Royal Festival Hall (September 11, 12, 14, 15, 16)

Bristol Colston Hall (18)

Bournemouth Opera House (20)

Edinburgh Festival Theatre (22)

Manchester Palace Theatre (23)

Birmingham Symphony Hall (24)

To check ticket availability for the Festival Hall shows, go to

To check ticket availability for all the other dates and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS, now.