Paul McCartney “Endless Summer” (Empress Valley Supreme Disk EVSD 769/773)

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Paul McCartney “Endless Summer” (Empress Valley Supreme Disk EVSD -769/773)

Disk 1 – Jet / Let Me Roll It / All Things Must Pass / Penny Lane / Get Back / I’ve Got A Feeling – Estadio El Molinon, Gijon, Spain – 25th May, 2004 / Parque Bela Vista, Lisbon, Portugal – 28th May, 2004 / Estadio de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 30th May 2004 (79:09)
Disk 2 – Jet / Let Me Roll It / All Things Must Pass / Penny Lane / Get Back / I’ve Got A Feeling – Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland 2nd June, 2004 / Leipzig Zentralstadion, Leipzig, Germany 4th June, 2004 / T Mobile Park, Prague, Czech Republic 6th June, 2004
Disk 3 – Jet / Let Me Roll It / All Things Must Pass / Penny Lane / Get Back / I’ve Got A Feeling – Forum Horsens Stadium, Horsens, Denmark 8th and 9th June, 2004 / Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden – 12th June, 2004
Disk 4 – Jet / Let Me Roll It / All Things Must Pass / Penny Lane / Get Back / I’ve Got A Feeling – Valle Hovin Stadion, Oslo, Norway, 14th June 2004 / Olympiastadion, Helsinki, Finland, 17th June, 2004 / Stade De France, Paris, France 24th June, 2004
Disk 5 – Jet / Let Me Roll It / All Things Must Pass / Penny Lane / Get Back / I’ve Got A Feeling – Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, England, 26th June, 2004.

This release by Empress Valley features tapes that were run from an official source, apparently recorded for an official live album release, all from Paul McCartney’s summer in Europe 2004 tour including tracks recorded at Paul’s premier appearance at the UK’s biggest and undoubtedly trendiest festival, Glastonbury, Empress Valley present us with a boxed set that centres around 6 songs – Jet, Let Me Roll It, All Things Must Pass, Penny Lane, Get Back, I’ve Got A Feeling – all played in different venues around Europe. It being from a semi-official source, the sound is consistently excellent.

It’s a tricky concept, 6 tracks played 13 times – yep, 13 TIMES – generally the interest lies in hearing outtakes that way – Which Beatles fan wouldn’t want to hear 13 takes of ‘Revolution’, ’Taxman’, ‘Come Together’ or ‘That Means A Lot’ (Well, Ok, maybe not the latter) but thirteen live takes of Beatles classics from the Beatle who never stops touring, well, it’s a dividing line. Thankfully, 6 great tracks were captured as opposed to turn-of-the-century-Macca tunes and so the set isn’t as hard work as you might think.

Really, “Jet” is a great set opener – tearing in to a nonsensical diversion, it’s easy, sing along structure, fiery bombast and roaring histrionics make it one of the perfect tunes to pop the doors open with. On this tour, it also benefits from a crowd rousing extended introduction in the style of ‘Get Back’ before starting it’s charge. Wiggy instrumental breaks, a beat that was made for hand claps or chest thumping, it’s an awesome slam. The tapes that were recording have also captured a good minute and a half of the pre-show music too – maybe not as exciting as the main event itself but still fun to hear in a way.

“Let Me Roll It” from arguably Wings’ biggest album, ‘Band On The Run’ and originally the B-Side to ‘Jet’ is a toothsome beast, chain bladed riffage in the John Lennon style. The past few years have been enlivened with Paul and bands nod to Jimi Hendrix and the sixties with a reprise of “Foxy Lady”, one of the only times in the concert where things take a little improvisational change and the soloing through the song changes incrementally each time it’s played. I’m not a fan of Macca’s new band generally but I have to admit, they still have the chops to draw out some nice improv when given the chance.

Paul’s tribute to George has also made it to tape, “All Things Must Pass” traditionally begins with a strummed, glossy intro building in to a classically serine classic rock moment. It’s obviously of the highest importance that Paul got the tone right for his friend and it never disappoints.

Paul’s own masterwerk follows, reminisces of his childhood back in Liverpool, rose tinted happiness – exceedingly and exquisitely British, it’s a trick that only a handful could have turned to sell to the rest of the world, particularly with it’s deeply Scouse colloquial banter but it’s breezy, cheekiness just sets it apart.
“Get Back” does more rousing for the crowd, one of the Beatles final hurrahs, a quick burning musical wick fizzles close to the main event before crashing in to the country tinged body of the main.

Finally, “I’ve Got A Feeling”, the newest arrival to the set list and a great choice to have plucked from the Beatles final album (That is, last to be released) it’s a superb riff that we know and love, rolling, thudding and a brilliant track with Paul to let loose with which he does with aplomb.

“Endless Summer” is very handsomely packaged in an oversized box with an Obi strip, inside is a glossy, bifold digi-pack that houses the 5 CDs, this also includes an obi of it’s own and while, there’s not much more information than the track titles and the dates the songs were recorded but the set doesn’t need it, professional shots of Macca adorn the rest with a psychedelic swirl super imposed over the top. An excellent set, even if the track listing might have looked a little over awing at first, and a gem to listen to. Wonderful.

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