|Well-earned praise: Paul McCartney and band showered |
in smartphone love by a surprised crowd at his free concert
in London's Covent Garden
While I loved the Beatles in the late 1960s I was never a big McCartney lover; typically, I preferred snotty bitchy John. But then I never saw him either - I might just have caught a glimpse of Harrison and Ringo at some festival or other, at the time when they al off playing in other people's bands.
Anyway, at 12.37 I got on my bike and was in Covent Garden Piazza by 1.15. The crowd was small and well-behaved and a bit puzzled as nothing seemed to be happening. By 1.30 a feeble attempt to start slow-hand-clapping protest fizzled out mercifully quickly - what do these people want, blood with their free music?
Then they came on and you had to say Paul looked incredibly much like he did in the early days of the Beatles, the black suit/white shirt thing and the hairstyle.
They kicked off with the new single - called New - which looked back to some of his jollier tunes of the 60s.
In fact all the four songs they played sounded to me much like some of the stuff he did with Wings - heavy on the 4:4 rhythm, determinedly chirpy and upbeat, and they filled the square very nicely, and everyone was happy, if a little disbelieving.
A total feelgood experience. You have to hand it to Sir Paul - he does work very hard at his trade, and he does seem to have the gift of making people smile and squeal in delight, even at 71. Good day, sunshine.
A few minutes later I saw a tourist showing her incredulous friends pictures of Paul McCartney on her camera - "I tell you it was him, it was, just down there. But he's finished now."