Paul McCartney – Under The Staircase (No label DVD)
Intro. / A Hard Day’s Night / Juniors Farm / One After 909 / Drive My Car / Come On To Me
/ I’ve Got A Feeling / I’ve Just Seen A Face / Confidante / Love Me Do / We Can Work It Out / My Valentine / Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five / Lady Madonna / Who Cares / Got To Get You Into My Life / Fuh You / Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da / I Wanna Be Your Man / Back In The U.S.S.R / Birthday / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) / Helter Skelter (87:21)
The huge promotional catalogue of work that went in to moving units of ‘Egypt Station’ must have been a headache for his staff – Macca’s show at New York’s Grand Central station, sat in on the Car Ride with James Cordon for his Carpool Karaoke segment (The part that broke the internet), a billion radio, TV and podcast appearances and an appearance on newish-kid-on-the-block, internet streaming service, Spotify, spawning the video, ‘Underneath The Stairs’ at Abbey Road studios, helped push his first album in five years up the charts. A very divisive album – You love it or you’ll feel a solemn sense of apathy towards it – it seems safe to say that Paul still has the world in his hands and his charm isn’t quite the only thing that still has us rapt.
Recorded live on the 23rd of July, 2018, right in the middle of a stinking-hot summer in Britain, ‘Underneath ..’ is a great pro-shot artefact from his ‘Egypt Station’ promotional bender. This being a cool little internet presented programme, there are some groovy little hand held ’super-8’ style cut ins here and there, idents on the screen clarify the tracks (if you’re a recent convert after the last album – Yeah, there’s possibly still a few) and all shot in hi-def but presented here on DVD, the sound and vision are top-quality. There’s a little dragging as the stream buffers that is incremental but noticeable if you’re a stickler for quality (like me) and the level of Paul’s mic drops as he introduces ‘Love Me Do’, making his all but inaudible during his introductions there in.
The show itself is quite brilliant – There IS the feel that you’re part of something very special, Paul’s little stories and tales are tailored to the event and it’s location, taking in his initial sessions at Abbey Road with The Beatles and their producer, George Martin and, thankfully, you haven’t heard them all a thousand times before – Even the 5th best Beatles tribute band in the world have a great sound about them. Paul’s voice – while he’s playing in a smaller venue – isn’t as drawn as he’s not intimidated by shouting through a large venue though the ‘old-man-Paul’ voice creeps in occasionally and, of course, there are Beatles and Wings classics galore sprinkled throughout the set list. Yeah, the set list is like a neatly pruned show list, apart from a couple of clunkers, ‘My Valentine’ and ‘Fuh You’, obvs, it’s a pretty solid classics show. From the new album, even the new songs are given a bi of a lift – Heck, even ‘Confidante’ sounds GOOD!
If Paul decides to release this set officially, it would be a nice little addition, on blu-Ray, to the main set of one of his recent concerts. If you’re hankering after something McCartney ‘18 that’s not an audio of the Japanese shows or sound-checks, I’d heartily recommend this disk – Well priced, well put together and packed full. Well done!