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
Leeds Festival 2014: Saturday's action, as it happens
Henry Rollins apologises for newspaper column attacking Robin Williams’ suicide
Jack White covers Beck’s 'Devil’s Haircut' – watch
Nicki Minaj dancer hospitalised after being bitten by snake during 'Anaconda' VMA...
Jake Bugg plays secret show at Reading Festival
Royal Blood draw enormous crowd to NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage at Reading Festival
Deerhoof to release new album ‘La Isla Bonita’
Former Belle & Sebastian bassist writing book about the band
M.I.A. settles £10 million lawsuit with NFL over 2012 Superbowl performance
Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way opens second day of Leeds Festival 2014
Ex-Stone Temple Pilots man Scott Weiland in bizarre mistaken identity case after imposter arrested
Reading Festival 2014: Saturday as it happens
Arcade Fire do ice-bucket challenge, cover ‘Hot Hot Hot’ in New York - watch
Kasabian announce tiny London concert in aid of Shelter
Metallica, Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons' agents angry at 'Pay to play'...
Blink-182 close first day of Leeds festival with hits, flames, belching and toilet humour
Queens Of The Stone Age headline Reading Festival for the first time with lights and lasers
Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel among artists to receive ASCAP Centennial Award
John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman denied parole
Blink-182 bring flames and Union Jack flag to Leeds Festival headline set
Jamie T showcases old and new material at surprise Reading show
Jessie J unveils cover art for new album 'Sweet Talker'

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