Liverpool • Friday, May 18, 1973 • 6 pm

ConcertBy Wings • Part of the Wings 1973 UK Tour
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United Kingdom
Empire Theatre

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From Twitter – Discovered in the archives today. Paul and Linda McCartney. 18 May 1973. Liverpool, England. (Photographer unknown)
From Liverpool Echo – Paul McCartney with his wife and fellow musician Linda at the Liverpool Empire Theatre in 1973 (Image: Liverpool Echo/Stephen Shakeshaft)
From Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 13 December 1972
From Liverpool Echo – Monday 14 May 1973
From Liverpool Echo – Monday 14 May 1973
From Liverpool Echo – Thursday 17 May 1973

Tonight was the night I never thought would come.  After paying about four dollars and traveling 90 miles by train I was looking forward to tonight.  I was pleased to learn that the theatre was only 500 yards from the station, and even though the first concert didn’t start until 6pm when I arrive din Liverpool at 4:30, there were dozens of people outside the theatre waiting to go in. I went in with everyone else at 5:40 any by 6:10 the theatre was jam-packed.

The announcer for the night appeared on the stage in a dark suit.  He had very tanned skin and black wavy hair.  The audience thought him to be rather effeminate but he didn’t seem to mind the whistles.  He introduced the first group, “Brindsley Schwartz” who provided us with a combination of folk/commercial pop.  The drummer, incidentally, was wearing a “Red Rose Speedway” T-shirt, and the group were on for about half an hour.

A ten-minute break followed after the compere had thrown out about a dozen king-sized balloons which he had asked us to keep going through the show! Bloody twit!

When the compere reappeared the audience was by now expecting Wings to come on, but “The Keefs” appeared, who were a poor acrobatic duo assisted by a poodle, the latter receiving the well-deserved applause!

The compere took the stage once again and asked everyone if we had any requests.  “Love me do,”  “Yesterday” and “Six Days a Week” were some that were shouted before the compere disappeared once again.

After five minutes the compere, now in a sand casual suit, announced that the moment we had been all waiting for had finally arrived (it was now 7:20pm).  “Live, on stage in Liverpool, Paul McCartney and….” That was all I could hear.   The other three came on first (Henry and the two Denny’s) closely followed by Paul and Linda.  It was a totally unbelievable experience being about 20 feet from Paul McCartney (who says he’s just an ordinary human being?!) Surely no ordinary person could generate so much electricity just by being there!!

Paul smiled and thanked us for the tremendous response.  He was wearing black velvet trousers and a dark jacket.  Linda wore a 1960 style red dressed and raised heel boots; Henry had on a red jacket and I can’t remember what the others wore.  Paul, Denny Laine, and Henry had “Red Rose Speedway” stickers stuck on their guitars.  Paul’s hair was longish and very dark, his face seemed thinner than of late. Linda looked quite attractive, and Denny Laine looked as if he was just 20!

The first number was one I hadn’t heard before, called I think, “Sunday.”  Then Paul announced a track off “Red Rose Speedway” called “Big Barn Bed.”  The sound was impeccable.  That too went down well.

Paul went on introducing the next number, “When the night” and slipped up by saying, “Big B….Big When the Night!”  the harmony on this song is very Beatle-ish.  The next song was one off the first Wings’ album.  “Wild Life” gave Denny Laine a chance to handle lead guitar. 

Next, Paul introduced a number written by Linda entitled “Seaside Woman.”  This was a simple reggae song but it received adequate applause.  Linda thanked everyone for the appreciation.

Henry decided to steal a bit of the Limelight by reciting an Irish poem while Paul moved over to the piano.  Linda stood up to play the tambourine, and Denny Laine took over the bass.  Paul said down the mike that it was strange him being down there (on the stage).  “I used to be up there watching Cliff!” (He pointed to the dress circle)

Paul then suggested that everyone clap and “bop about” to the next song.  “Little Woman Love” succeeded immediately in warming up and relaxing the audience more and the inclusion of “C Moon” halfway through attained the audience’s appreciation, before finally reverting back to “Little Woman Love” for a fine finish.

Straight into “Live and Let Die” next which also went down famously.  Even though no orchestra was available for the middle section like on the record, the song was enhanced by the flashing of spotlights at extremely short intervals.  The effect was extremely successful as well as headache-inducing.

Paul introduced the next number by suggesting everyone snuggle up close to their partners.  They did (Henry shouted ‘Get ’em off!’.  They didn’t.)  The opening bar of “My Love” was enough to start the audience screaming and applauding.  Minus strings it was equally as good, so much so that the audience began to clap before it ended.

“Maybe I’m Amazed” followed on to get a terrific response.  Henry’s guitar work was very similar to how Paul handled it on the McCartney album.  The applause lasted for 20 seconds at least.  I loved it.

Denny Laine took over Paul’s seat on electric piano while Paul returned to bass.  Denny seated himself and announced to do a “blast from the past.”  The opening bar of “Go Now” was remarkably like the 1963 Moody Blues version when Denny sang it then.  After that, he got up and Linda took over, while Denny returned to rhythm and Henry introduced another song of Denny’s recorded by, quote “Bloodnose, Bloodrock.” (Paul said “Bloodstone”).  “Colin Bloodstone,” Henry said, “Say you don’t mind” was heavier and faster than Colin Bunstone’s version and ten times better.

Paul introduced the 13th number by asking us all to “clap, bop, stomp, and enjoy ourselves.” “The Mess” gave Linda a chance to play the mellotron.   Bloody fabulous song.  Within 10 seconds, girls were dancing in the aisles, within 20 seconds everyone had rushed forward to the front of the stage.  Within 30 seconds everybody was standing, some on the seats even!

The atmosphere was truly fantastic.  We wanted more and got it as Paul announced “The song someone  banned:’  I don’t think it’s dirty!”  “Hi Hi Hi” was bloody great.  The song finished and Paul said, “thank you,” and waved before they left the stage.  We weren’t having that, so we all began to shout “more, more more” and stomp our feet and clap.   The noise we made must easily compete with the Sunderland fans when they won the F.A. Cup final!!

Not surprisingly, Wings came back for an encore with “Long Tall Sally.”  The way Paul was screaming down the mike made you think he’d got us all in the palm of his hand.  He had! 

They left the stage after that, but we still shouted our appreciation to the same extent as before.  Even the compere pleaded for Paul and his group to reappear.  They did, eventually, but only to tell everyone, “We have no more songs for you.  See you all again.  Goodnight and thanks.”

We all accepted defeat and tried to catch some of the special plastic souvenir plates the roadies began to throw to the audience.  Very slowly we all made for the exits still trying to sink it in that it was Paul who we had just seen on stage.  Just as we were nearing the exit, there had to be some wise guy to shout, “There’s Paul!”  There was!  I’ve never been so squashed in all my life, but I was loving it.  And we saw daylight again we saw the queue of fans waiting to go in for the second show, and told them all how super the concert was.  Their memories were yet to come, mine were never to be forgotten.  As I headed for the station I checked to see if I still had my program, creased posted and blue plate, and smiled.

Wings have taken off.  Long may they fly Hi Hi Hi!

This is a review of the Wings concert in Liverpool on May 18, 1973 written by Kevin Clark and published in the December 1973 issue of With a Little Help From my Friends. – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Wings concert in Liverpool 1973

Now, onto Liverpool.  I always expected Liverpool to be a dirty, scruffy place but it wasn’t.  It was really nice there!  We all got a hotel near the theatre.  You wouldn’t believe these little boys that were following us around — real punks.  They were trying to steal things from us, but we gave them a proper warning and they left us alone.  You wouldn’t believe it, they must not have been more than 7 – walking down the street smoking. 

James left his jacket on the seat by mistake and they stole 100 pounds from him!  (About $250).  We had seats in the 7th row this time.  All of Paul’s relatives were in the audience, including his father.  It was really great.  While waiting for the show to start, these characters were yelling out things like “Hey Macca!”  and give me a “W” give me an “I” give me an “N” and give me an uhhh oh “G” give me an S!”  W-I-N-G-S!!   Claire, a girl that used to run his club in England, got on stage with the gorilla!  The show was fantastic, and Paul said it was really strange being up on stage there because the last time he was there he was “up there” (pointing to the balcony) watching Cliff Richard.

Linda, by the way, also changed her outfit from her black dress to an orange one.  The audience went wild at the end.  Good old Sarah was there and she had forgotten to get us all tickets to the second show, but she did get some off some crook outside for $25.  Since our seats were not all together, we decided to stand up in the back (This theatre was really small, so we weren’t really that far away).  We stayed there, and there were these lights on us and they could see us.  We were up there bopping around and in general, making fools out of ourselves, and once we clapped loudly for Denny and Denny said, “Thank you, girls, in the back!”   During “Say you don’t mind,” I decided to get myself down to the front of the stage for when Pau would do “The Mess”.  I ran down and then it began.  It was really fantastic for awhile because was directly in front of Paul, who by the way, had changed his jacket again and wore the black and red checkered one.  It was really great, but suddenly about 1000 people decided that they wanted to be where I was.  I stayed right where I was, but kept being pushed against a rail.  I was sure that I would be sawed in half.  James was behind me waving flowers in the air and Paul noticed this and grinned at James first and then me.  It was like a private joke.  James threw the roses on the stage and Paul kicked them.

Suddenly, everything started going black.  I was passing out.  I couldn’t breathe and I was so scared.  If I had passed out there, I would have been crushed to death by the crowd.  It was definitely the most frightening thing that ever happened to me.  I really got hurt.  There was a roadie in the pit next to me and I screamed that I was going to pass out.  He tried to lift me up, but I was so crushed he couldn’t.  I don’t know how I managed to keep myself up, but I did.

Paul sang the encore of Long Tall Sally again, and the others started walking off.  Paul told them to wait and Linda asked him what he was going.  He just told her to wait a minute and then went into Long Tall Sally again! 

After the show, I was like a zombie.  I couldn’t even walk and conked out of the floor.  Didn’t know where I was — nothing.  After I went hysterical for a while at the hotel, we went back to the theatre.  Oh, we heard this big roar so we knew that he had come out of the theatre or looked out the window and sure enough, we found out he stuck his head out the window.  Luckily for Paul, he got wise and snuck out by the front entrance in his rented car.  (A yellow Ford with a black top)

From the Summer 1973 issue of McCartney Lovers and Friends – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Manchester & Liverpool Wings 1973
From Liverpool Echo – February 28, 1973


… When the compere re-appeared the audience was by now expecting Wings to come on, but a poor acrobatic duo assisted by a poodle appeared. The latter receiving the well deserved applause. Five minutes later… “Live on stage, Paul McCartney”, the applause was overwhelming. The first number I hadn’t heard before, then Paul announced “Big Barn Bed”. The sound was impeccable. ‘When The Night’ with really ‘Beatlish’ harmony followed. The next song – ‘Wild Life’, and then Linda’s own ‘Seaside Woman’. Paul then remarked that it was strange him being on stage, he said “I used to be up there, watching Cliff!”

My Love, equally as good minus strings, got audience approval on the opening notes.

The Mess gave Linda a chance to play melotron. Bloody fabulous song. Within 10 seconds girls were dancing in the aisles, within 20 seconds everyone had rushed forward to the front and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Wings came back for an encore of Long Tall Sally and that was the end. As we saw daylight, we saw the queue of fans waiting to go in for the second show, and told them how super the concert was. Their memories were yet to come, mine are never to be forgotten. Wings have taken off. Long may they fly, Hi, Hi, Hi.

From Wings Fun Club newsletter #3

It’s a pity whoever wrote about the Liverpool gig, didn’t see the second show. The atmosphere was even better. Before the shows we met Denny, Henry and Denny going in, but they said we’d missed Paul and Linda so we waited outside after the second show and once more we were talking to Denny, Henry and Denny, but Paul had gone out of another door, so after seeing the coach go, we made our way to the taxi stand, on the way down the coach passed and Henry waved to us. A little further on the coach stopped outside the Adelphi Hotel, so we were talking to them again, but we didn’t get to see Paul and Linda at all, the two roadies said he’d gone to his dads.

The next day I read in the paper that Paul and Linda had been to Forthlyn Road, where Paul used to live, but I didn’t think to go. I had been waiting outside the Cavern for about half an hour in case they went there, and then I went back to the Empire and watched the roadies loading all the equipment in, they said that half of it was the Beatles stuff. – K Kelly

From Wings Fun Club newsletter #4

Last updated on August 18, 2022

Empire Theatre

This was the 11th concert played at Empire Theatre.

A total of 13 concerts have been played there • 1959Oct 18thOct 26th1962Oct 28th1963Mar 24thMay 26thDec 7thDec 22nd1964Nov 8th1965Dec 5th (Evening show)Dec 5th (Afternoon show)1973May 18th (8:30 pm)May 18th (6 pm)1975Sep 15th

Setlist for the concert

The setlist for this concert is incomplete, or we have not be able to confirm in an accurate way that this was the setlist. If you have any clue, pls let us know and leave a comment.





Going further

Wings Live - On tour in the 70s

This is the first detailed study of Paul McCartney's Wings on tour in the 1970s. It covers every single concert from the University Tour of 1972, ending with the abandoned tour of Japan in January 1980. A wide variety of primary sources have been consulted, including all available audio and video recordings; press reviews; fan recollections; newspaper reports and tour programmes.

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David Balfe 5 years ago

I was there, aged 14, and he definitely did Yesterday.

The PaulMcCartney Project 5 years ago

Thanks David for sharing your memories ! I thought Paul had only restarted covering Beatles songs during his 1975-1976 world tour !

Ken 4 years ago

I was 17 and there for the second show, the crowd was yelling out Beatles song requests and his reply " no Beatles numbers tonight". He first did Beatles song in the World tour in 76, I saw him in Boston that year.

The PaulMcCartney Project 4 years ago

Thanks Ken for sharing your memories !

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