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On June 7th 2007 Paul played an intimate secret show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden to a fevered crowd of a thousand people. With all the tickets disappearing within minutes of being announced, it was the hottest and most talked about show in town and was Paul’s first UK live performance since his legendary Glastonbury headline performance in 2004. […]
From The Guardian, June 8, 2007:
Sir Paul McCartney has only one week left of being 64, and things really haven’t panned out the way he thought they would. Forty years ago, as the youthful Beatle was writing When I’m 64 for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he envisaged his early senior years as a time of lazy semi-retirement: “Mending fuses” and “Digging the weeds” were to be as taxing as life got.
In reality, McCartney has never been busier, and his personal profile higher, since The Beatles split. On a professional level, he this year picked up a Classical Brit Award for his first orchestral album and continues to demonstrate a determined modernity. He left EMI after 43 years to sign to Starbuck’s Hear Music, saying he thought his old label was boring, jaded and “confused” by the changing face of the music industry.
Even the title of McCartney’s new album, Memory Almost Full, is a reference to digital technology and downloads, yet it is an album that aches with a meditative, deeply personal humanity. It also has great tunes: his ear for a melody does not desert him, even when he is casting a poignant eye over a life lived long and well.
His divorce and childcare commitments prevent him undertaking a full live tour, so last night a mere 1,100 people were treated to a low-profile launch of Memory Almost Full in an unusually intimate setting. Flanked by shaggy-haired guitarist Rusty Anderson and bassist Brian Ray, McCartney kicked off with Baby You Can Drive My Car, the first of the night’s many compositions with Lennon.
It’s a testament to the quality of Memory Almost Full that there was no obvious drop-off in quality as the band changed gear into new material. Only Mama Knows was a rudimentary yet infectious chugging rocker, while the chirpily skiffle-like Dance Tonight found McCartney plucking at a mandolin and sounded like it could have been played on a tea-chest bass in the Cavern in 1962.
He switched to the piano for a choppy oddity, the 1972 Wings single C Moon, before reverting to more populist mode for The Long and Winding Road, the plangent Beatles reverie upon mortality.
The nostalgic theme continued as McCartney reminisced over writing I’ll Follow The Sun behind lace curtains in a Liverpool sitting room that is now a national heritage site. He applied the same joyful wonderment to That Was Me, and Here Today, a 1982 acoustic eulogy to John Lennon that he dedicated to Lennon, George Harrison, and his late first wife, Linda.
He could do little wrong last night, but a dirge-like House of Wax and a tribute to 1950s US rock ‘n’ roll icon Carl Perkins seemed rather superfluous set members. McCartney hardly lacked the means to rescue things, firing into Get Back, then exiting with a rousing sing-a-long, Hey Jude.
After close on 50 years playing gigs, McCartney knows how to leave them wanting more, and the encore of Let It Be, Lady Madonna and I Saw Her Standing There was exhilarating and profoundly moving. It was a remarkable night indeed.
Last updated on January 18, 2021
This was the 1st and only concert played at Electric Ballroom.
Setlist for the concert