October 18, 2013 15:03

Paul McCartney plays surprise gig in London's Covent Garden

The Beatles icon performs short show to thousands of fans in the shopping hotspot

Photo: Next Previous

Photo Gallery: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney stunned shoppers in central London by playing a surprise, five-song show in Covent Garden this lunchtime (October 18).

News of the pop-up concert had been kept secret, but NME was first to break the news when stage gear bearing McCartney's name was spotted in the centre of Covent Garden's Piazza at 10.30am.

Hundreds of fans had gathered by the time McCartney confirmed the gig with a tweet at 12.15pm which read: "I'm getting ready to pop up in Covent Garden at 1pm today. Oh baby!"

The show was performed from a flatbed truck identical to the one McCartney sang on at a similar pop-up gig last week in New York's Central Park.

The Beatles legend walked on stage at 1.30pm, witnessed by thousands of fans including workers thronged at the fire escape of the adjacent Dr Martens store.

Playing in front of a backdrop depicting the multi-coloured artwork from McCartney's freshly-released album 'New', McCartney gave an exaggerated wave and yelled: "Welcome to Covent Garden! Get your phones out - as if they weren't out already."

Sat behind a multi-coloured keyboard, he and his four-piece backing band played the album's title track.

All five songs were from 'New', despite the refrain from Beatles classic 'Let It Be' being clearly heard during the impromptu soundcheck earlier.

After the title track, Macca said: "Busking. I always wanted to busk here" as he introduced the album's opening track 'Save Us'.

McCartney announced: "We're allowed 20 minutes up here, so we'd better be quick," as he introduced third song 'Everybody Out There'.

Before new single 'Queenie Eye', he referred to The Beatles' partying lifestyle, saying: "Things have changed since the '60s. We'd have been coming in from the clubs round about now, never mind having to get up and sing."

Then, simply saying "We're going to do the first one again", McCartney performed 'New' again to end the show.

Bowing with his backing band, McCartney - dressed in a black jacket and white shirt with black high-neck collar - walked off to head for his signing session at the nearby HMV store in Oxford Street.

Fans were delighted by the show. Marcus Brooksmith said: "I saw rumours of it all on NME and thought it was worth a risk coming here. I'm so glad I did. I'd heard the new album on Spotify and thought it was great. Paul's just convinced me to buy it now."

Emma Taylor added: "I was at the South Bank when I saw rumours of it on Twitter. I didn't think I'd make it in time. I just happened to be wearing a McCartney T-shirt today, it feels like fate. I've been a fan for 29 years, and this is as good as it gets."

Paul McCartney played:
'New'
'Save Us'
'Everybody Out There'
'Queenie Eye'
'New'


Read More On This Artist

More News
Lorde to curate 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1' soundtrack
Brian Eno compares Israel to 'the Klan' in strongly-worded letter about...
Noel Gallagher's daughter asks owners of Oasis-inspired dog kennel to stop breeding pedigrees
Lily Allen says Miley Cyrus' live show is 'up there with Oasis or the Stone Roses'
Alice Cooper and Kiss pay tribute to late Lou Reed guitarist Dick Wagner
Ariel Pink recalls time he was maced in the face by 'a feminist'
BBC 6 Music overtakes Radio 3 for first time as 1Xtra falls below a million listeners
Justin Bieber posts picture of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight reports
Neon Jungle 'no comment' over claims they covered Banks song without artist's...
Lostprophets members could have been 'groomed' by Ian Watkins, says child abuse expert
Alt-Fest organisers are 'dealing with extremely challenging issues' amid cancellation...
Jamie T unveils five new songs on UK comeback tour
Foxygen announce 24-track new album, promising 'a gaggle of guest stars'
Kylie Minogue, Lulu and Deacon Blue to perform at Commonwealth Games closing ceremony
Beastie Boys' Mike D: 'Grunge was a death sentence to the rock that preceded it'
Chance The Rapper covers 'Arthur' theme tune, featuring Wyclef Jean and Jessie Ware –...
Jarvis Cocker to judge Pulp karaoke contest in New York
Foo Fighters finish work on 'epic' new album
Morrissey responds to lawsuit filed by former security guard
Peace reveal new single 'Lost On Me' - watch
Lana Del Rey left alone at the altar in wedding themed 'Ultraviolence' video
RSPCA 'grateful' for donation from punk band who sacked vet drummer over bestiality

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Featured Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read News
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today