Ex-Beatle urges the crowd to help save 'really cool' venue
Paul McCartney played a lunchtime gig at London‘s 100 Club today (December 17), treating the crowd to some of the biggest hits of his career.
The show was the smallest the former Beatle had played since he performed at the Cavern Club in his native Liverpool in 1999. The London venue has a capacity of 300 – with The Rolling Stones‘ Ronnie Wood among the audience members for the show.
Billed on tickets as A Packed Lunch At The 100 Club, McCartney played a 28-song set, kicking off just after 1pm (GMT). He greeted the crowd with a casual “Alright?”, joking that his slightly late arrival was due to the traffic.
After he said that he thought the 100 Club, which is under threat of closure, needed to be saved, a shout of, “Why don’t you buy it?” came from the crowd. “You buy it, I’ll rent it!” the Liverpool legend quipped back.
With a plea for “No heckling, now!”, he and his band launched into ‘Matchbox’, a Carl Perkins song that the Fab Four used to cover back in 1961.
He also played Big Joe Turner‘s 1953 hit ‘Honey Hush’, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’ (made famous by Ray Charles) and Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Hitch Hike’. He also played ‘One After 909’, a song that appears on the final Beatles album ‘Let It Be’ but is also one of the earliest John Lennon/McCartney compositions, dating back to 1957.
A mid-set spell at the piano featured his solo favourite ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ and ‘Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five’, the closing track on the recently-reissued ‘Band On The Run’ album.
McCartney was clearly relishing the special occasion, and was in playful form throughout. “We used to have to sign autographs on ciggy packets or bus tickets,” he said before ‘And I Love Her’, “and now there’s a chap here holding up an iPad with, ‘Paul: sign my iPad!’ on the screen!” Just after the song finshed, another fan handed him a Christmas present: a seven-inch single of Little Richard‘s ‘Shake A Hand’.
Later, before ‘Dance Tonight’, he played a jaunty song called ‘Petruska’ on ukelele in a mock-Russian accent, laughing that a review of a previous show in which he played it had described it as “an ancient Russian folk song”.
Following on from perennial main set closer ‘Hey Jude’ he returned for an encore that began with ‘Yesterday’, once more urging the crowd to help save the 100 Club. “It’s a really cool place,” he said, “and many of my heroes have played on this stage. This has been a blast, let’s do it again sometime!”
The band then rejoined him for a medley of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (Reprise)’ and ‘The End’.
He’s now set to play two shows this weekend, at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London tomorrow and the O2 Academy Liverpool on Monday.
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Paul McCartney played:
‘Magical Mystery Tour’
‘Drive My Car’
‘All My Loving’
‘One After 909’
‘Let Me Roll It’
‘The Long And Winding Road’
‘Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five’
‘Maybe I’m Amazed’
‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’
‘I’m Looking Through You’
‘And I Love Her’
‘Band On The Run’
‘Ob-La Di, Ob-La Da’
‘Let It Be’
‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (Reprise)’/The End’