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From For Whom The Bell Tells, August 7, 2015:
Paul is back in Oslo for the first time in 11 years, landing just after 3pm and even during his short drive to the venue he uses the time productively with a call to Norwegian radio station P4 en route, with a quick chat about being back in the city, among other things. I’m guessing quite a few readers here may not have access to P4 so here is a taste:
Paul: “I have a kind of special relationship with Norwegian people, because you send a lot of people to my school in Liverpool (LIPA). So, I meet quite a lot of Norwegian kids in the school, because some of them I do classes with. Right since the beginning of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, LIPA, there’s always been some really good Norwegian students.”
Presenter: “You’re on tour now for, like, 18 months in a row with a couple of days off – how do you prepare for a show like tonight when you have done the same show for so many months in a row?”
Paul: “Well, the good thing about it is that because of my personal situation, I have my youngest kid, my daughter, for half the time. So when I’m with her, I don’t do concerts; when I’m not with her, like today, I do concerts. It means that you don’t ever get fed up of doing it, because you have a week when you do them, and then you have a week when you don’t. And at first I thought that was going to be, not a good idea, but it’s turned out to be a good idea really because when you are going to do a concert it means you feel hungry to get back on the stage and it keeps you very interested. So me and the band are pleased to be here in Norway and really interested in plugging our guitars in, getting the sound up and singing some songs. So I think that keeps it very fresh actually.”
Presenter: “So you like to go back home and spend some time with your family, then go back out on tour and re-charge your batteries?”
Paul: “Yeah, that’s what happens, yeah! And once you’ve been at home for a while you start to think, ‘Oh boy, it would be great to get out and do a gig’, so when you come to do the gig you’re kind of hungry. So it works out nicely, and means we are, you know? If you’re on the road for years and years, you don’t even know where you are – you’re just like, ‘Where are we tonight, I don’t know, what’s this place called?’ But you know, the way we’re doing it now, you’re very aware where you are, you’re very aware how lucky you are to be playing, so we’re really enjoying it and I think that’s reflected in the reviews and the audiences.”
Asked about his collaboration with Kanye West, Paul says:
“Originally I just got a call from my manager and he said Kanye West is interested in collaborating with you’. So I was kind of interested but I thought, I don’t know, maybe I should do this, maybe I shouldn’t, I don’t know, see if I’ve got time, whatever. So I found out I did have time, and I thought what we’ll do is, we’ll try working together – if it doesn’t work out, we just won’t tell anyone, and you won’t have lost anything, neither of us will have lost anything.
“So, we got together in Los Angeles, in a hotel room and we just spent a few afternoons kicking ideas around – I gave him some musical ideas, he gave some lyric ideas and we recorded a lot of stuff. He records it all on his iPhone and his engineer had some proper recording stuff, so we just recorded lots of ideas and then I came back to England and thought well, I wonder if anything is going to happen. I didn’t really wanna ring him up and say, ‘Hey Kanye, did anything happen?!’ I thought that’s a bit stupid, so I just left it, I’ll just say, ‘Hey, Happy Christmas! All the best!’ Whatever, I’ll send a little message. And in the end, he sent me, just before the New Year three tracks – he sent me ‘Only One’, which was something I’d played piano on, then he sent me ‘FourFiveSeconds’ with Rihanna, which was a real surprise because I didn’t even know he was working with Rihanna, and I love her voice! So yeah, it turned out it was a guitar thing that I had been playing and he liked the groove on it, so he finished it up with Rihanna – so then, you know, will you make the video? Will you go on the Grammys? I was glad I did it in the end, you know, I thought…it was perfect.”
Presenter: “After that meeting, Kanye was telling the press he was star-struck after he met you – do you ever get starstruck by meeting anyone?”
PM: “Yeah, I think so, it’s people you admire, there’s always a little bit of that meeting them because you never know quite how they are going to turn out and if you know they’re talented you’ve just got to take it easy, kind of thing. When I met Kanye, I mean, I’d listened to a lot of his records and knew a lot of the work he’d done, like My Dark Twisted Fantasy and Black Skinhead. For the first five minutes it’s a little bit like that and then you remember you’re just human beings and you’re just there to do some work together. So that goes, really. But yeah, there are one or two people I get a little bit starstruck with.”
With media commitments completed, it is time for the soundcheck. This afternoon, his audience of “soundcheckers” are treated to the likes of ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘Drive My Car’, ‘Junior’s Farm’ and ‘All My Loving’. There is also a ukulele special of ‘Leaning On A Lamp-post’, a song most associated with George Formby, which The Beatles recorded during their Get Back sessions in 1969 although it was never released. The band also played a version of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ with Paul’s guitar tremeolo effect making it sound like The Smiths’ song ‘How Soon Is Now?’.
Soundcheck over, it is time for Paul to have another language class, this time to brush up his Norwegian, and he sends a special birthday message on Twitter to both Ringo Starr and his own late father, which is received very well by the people of the internet and social media channels.
During the show too Paul wishes Ringo and his dad a happy birthday and plays Birthday for them.
Over to the reviews:
Hats off to Sir Paul (Dagbladet)
“The audience gets a concert that has absolutely everything: songs that are the soundtrack to the lives of several generations spanning an unusually long career, a tight and hard-working band, an artist giving so much of himself to make everyone feel at ease – he even speaks a little Norwegian! There’s an exciting and affectionate atmosphere all night, almost reverential at times.
“McCartney proves he is a true champion by giving us three hours of music history.”
The reports were correct – Paul McCartney is on top form (Dagsavisen)
“Paul McCartney actually lived up to the expectation and to his status as a legend. The Beatle gave a compelling near three-hour performance of classic hits from his entire career including the occasional forgotten gem such as ‘Temporary Secretary’.
“In one night the audience of all ages relive many magical memories. Rarely do we see an entire audience sing along with everything. ‘Hey Jude’ simply should be declared as the world’s biggest song.”Stuart Bell
Happiest of birthdays to @ringostarrmusic on this special day. It’s my Dad’s too – he would have been 113!Paul McCartney – from Twitter
Last updated on February 21, 2021
This was the 1st and only concert played at Telenor Arena.
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert