‘Play by the rules, man!’ Paul McCartney berates crowd for using phones at Liverpool Cavern Club gig

"It’s putting me off!"

Paul McCartney told off audience members for using their phones during his return to Liverpool’s Cavern Club on Thursday (July 26).

The legendary ex-Beatles rocker stopped his solo band’s performance of ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ to chide members of the crowd for taking photos and videos.

“You’ve all been told not to take photos,” he said. “You’re taking them, and you’re taking them, and it’s putting me off! So, you know, play by the rules, man!”


After resuming the track – a song by Eddie Cochran that he played to impress John Lennon way back in 1957 – McCartney said: “The phone thing, I went to a Prince concert and he really was serious about that, he wouldn’t start, you know. Put ‘em down! You know what I’m saying?”

As NME’s Dan Stubbs points out in his gig review, the outburst had the “feeling of a parent scalding their children then instantly feeling guilty” but it was a blip in an otherwise “stunning return.”

Paul McCartney at The Cavern

McCartney was at LIPA on Wednesday (25 July) to speak to students at the performing arts academy he founded in the former home of his old school, the Liverpool Institute High School For Boys. He also performed an acoustic set.

He told students that The Beatles approached writing music with the formula that the songs had to be “memorable”.


“[We] learned everything by ear. We hadn’t learned how to write anything down. We didn’t really do much recording but…we had to write songs you could remember…we ended up saying that if we can’t remember it, how can we expect other people to?”

“None of the groups – The British Invasion – didn’t know how to read or write music – we sort of didn’t need to.”

In other news, McCartney will resume touring later this year in support of his upcoming seventeenth solo album ‘Egypt Station’, which is set for release on September 7.

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