Saturday, 27 July 2019

Paul McCartney - Amoeba Gig

  

Recorded live in 2007 at Ameoba Records, Hollywood.

Twelve years after Paul McCartney performed a "secret gig" at Hollywood's Amoeba Music Store, it has finally been released in its full 21-song set list format.

The sound on the album is excellent, big, bassy and thumping. The set it is similar to 2009's Good Evening New York City concert - a mix of contemporary solo material from Memory Almost Full (five songs), Wings stuff (actually only one track when you add them up!) and Beatles classics (eleven songs), particularly at the end.

The contemporary songs are good, like the Wings-ish Only Mama Knows, the singalong folky fun of Dance Tonight, the beautiful Calico Skies and the entertaining, tongue-in-cheek That Was Me. Add to that the brief heavy rock of Nod Your Head. Wings' C Moon is delivered energetically and he sounds as if he is really enjoying it. Here Today, written for Lennon, from the Tug Of War album has McCartney, movingly, choking on tears at one point. He pulls himself together afterwards, sort of laughing about it, before launching into a pounding Back In The USSR. McCartney and the band are on fire here. It is good to hear new material, though, like the sombre rock of House Of Wax, as opposed to "greatest hits".

Also making an appearance are a couple of old-time classic covers in a goofy minute-long Baby Face and, more credibly, Carl Perkins' Matchbox. McCartney always loved Perkins' material. It is performed here really well, full of verve and bluesy rocking vibrancy. I like hearing McCartney rock out like this. It is also a surprise to hear I've Got A Feeling from The Beatles' Let It Be too. This would also be performed on Good Evening New York City's set list. Once more, it is done very impressively. It is worth getting these live albums, not for Hey Jude etc, but for things like Matchbox and I've Got A Feeling. The same applies to Rolling Stones live albums, I get them for two or three unusual cuts on each one.

So there you go, another Paul McCartney live album, but it is a good one (as they all are), with the band on top form and a general feeling of enjoyment prevailing, as often comes across on these small audience gigs. I really like it.

Finally, a mildly amusing moment comes right at the end, before I Saw Her Standing There when McCartney tells the audience that Ringo Starr is present, only to find that he has already left. "Elvis has left the building..." says a briefly befuddled McCartney.

TRACK LISTING

1. Drive My Car
2. Only Mama Knows
3. Dance Tonight
4. C Moon
5. The Long And Winding Road
6. I'll Follow The Sun
7. Calico Skies
8. That Was Me
9. Blackbird
10. Here Today
11. Back In The USSR
12. Nod Your Head
13. House Of Wax
14. I've Got A Feeling
15. Matchbox
16. Get Back
17. Baby Face
18. Hey Jude
19. Let It Be
20. Lady Madonna
21 I Saw Her Standing There

B+