Albums covering this tour
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During the spring and early summer of 1973, Paul McCartney’s band Wings performed on a twelve-city concert tour of the United Kingdom.
The tour was for the purpose of promoting the band’s latest album, Red Rose Speedway, as well as the single “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond film of the same name. Another reason for the tour was that McCartney simply enjoying playing live shows.
This was the largest tour yet for Wings. Unlike the surprise appearances of the previous year’s Wings University Tour and the spontaneous nature of the follow-up Wings Over Europe Tour, here the tour was announced in more normal fashion and fans could buy tickets ahead of time. Tickets sold well, with a third date being added at the Hammersmith Odeon and other cities being added onto the itinerary. The routing included a return to McCartney’s hometown as the band played the Liverpool Empire Theatre on 18 May.
The announced nature of the tour also meant that music critics could arrange to see the shows, and while the press’s regard for McCartney and the Wings enterprise in general was fairly low, the concerts got some mixed-to-good notices.
Wings’ line-up for the tour was Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Henry McCullough, and Denny Seiwell. Shows lasted for around an hour or so. Wings presented a different image on stage during the tour’s shows than they did on record, being respectively “undeniably vigorous and invigorating” rather than “tame, even lame,” as Tony Palmer wrote for The Observer after seeing the tour’s opening night at the Bristol Hippodrome. The band had somewhat more material to play than they had in previous outings, and McCullough’s instrumental “Henry’s Blue”, previously used to fill out the setlist, was not employed. Laine’s singing of his former band The Moody Blues’ hit “Go Now” was included, however.
As per McCartney’s practice with Wings at the time, the three non-McCartney band members did not earn a share of the receipts but rather received a flat rate of £70 a week, with a £1000 bonus paid at the tour’s conclusion. This reinforced the financial dissatisfaction that Seiwell was feeling with vaguely promised royalties from Wings’ recordings not coming to him. McCullough was also unhappy with the monetary situation and furthermore resented having to share the stage with Linda McCartney. Although her keyboard playing had improved from before, she still qualified as a musical amateur. Overall, the group began coming apart during the tour. The situation with Seiwell and McCollough would soon reach a breaking point in the weeks immediately afterward, and both quit Wings shortly before the group left for Lagos, Nigeria to record Band on the Run.
The support act for the entire tour was pub rock band Brinsley Schwarz. Paul and Linda asked them to be on the tour after seeing them perform at the London Hard Rock Cafe’s opening night a few weeks previously. Prior to the tour, Wings had performed unannounced at the Hard Rock on 18 March in support of the charity organisation Release.
During a break in the tour itinerary, the McCartneys went exploring and ended up buying a secluded house, Waterfall, in Peasmarsh, Surrey, which would end up becoming their main residence.
INGS SWING INTO PRING.. 16S Paul McCartney makes up with his old band —the Beatles—the group he formed himself, in gs, is about to break out of its chrysalis and take flight. The five-piece group—Paul and Linda McCartne guitarists Henry McCulloch and Denny Laine, an drummer Denny Seiwell—start their first official Bri L*sh tour next month. A new album, “Red Rose Speedway,” is being rush-release y have just finished filming a £200,000 one-hour T V spectac lar to be screened on May 10. Paul has never beet” forgiven for splitting the most famous ba in the world, nor f having the temerity start one of his ow , Bad publicity h dogged them. Legal ha overs from Paul’s Beat days have nearl throttled them. And t of their records have been banned by the BB At times the membe of Wings felt the worl hated them. But bot I banned discs made t charts, along with ” Ma Had A Little Lamb ” an their latest. Love, which is number 22 th week. Eager
I’ve deliberately avoided doing the old numbers, because we didn’t want to turn into a second-rate Beatles and be compared to all the groups up and down the Costa Brava. I mean, we’ve come away from all that, although the others are more keen on The Beatles thing than anyone. Old Denny Laine there is a total Beatles freak! In fact, one night onstage, he suddenly comes out with ‘When I was young and so much younger than today,’ and I thought, ‘God, there’s me trying to get away from it.’Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman
Last updated on July 27, 2023
21 concerts • 1 country
Jul 09, 1973
Jul 06, 1973
May 25, 1973
May 22, 1973 • There is 1 album covering this show
May 21, 1973
May 18, 1973
May 17, 1973 • There is 1 album covering this show
May 11, 1973
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.