Paul McCartney & Wings – Turkey In The Straw (Silver Apple SIAP009/10)

Turkey In The Straw (Silver Apple SIAP009/10)

De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands – August 17th, 1972

Disc 1 (51:37):  Introduction, Eat At Home, Smile Away, Bip Bop, Mumbo, 1882, I Would Only Smile, Give Ireland Back To The Irish, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, The Mess, Best Friend, Soily, I Am Your Singer

Disc 2 (43:28):  Seaside Woman, Henry’s Blues, Say You Don’t Mind, Wild Life, Turkey In The Straw, My Love.  Bonus, Evenementenhal, Groningen, Netherlands – August 19th, 1972 soundcheck:  tuning, Hi Hi Hi, tuning, jam, jam, The Mess (w/ reprise)

Turkey In The Straw collects together two documents from the waning days of Wings’ European tour in the summer of 1972.  The bulk of the recording is the August 17th show at De Doelen in Rotterdam.  Several songs, namely “Eat At Home,” “Smile Away,” “1882,” “I Would Only Smile,” “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” “Best Friend” and “Seaside Woman” can be found on the old vinyl LP Complaint To The Queen

Silver Apple uses a different tape source which captures most of the show.  The sound quality of this tape is not very good.  It’s distant, thin and distorted and rates a fair at the very best.  It’s another tape that is good for the committed Beatles / Wings / McCartney fan to hear, but it’s not an enjoyable listen.  There are two cuts in “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” at forty-five seconds and at a minute twenty-five, a cut after “The Mess” for the intermission, a cut before “Wild Life” omitting the opening notes, and the tape cuts out almost three minutes into “My Love” omitting the ending plus “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Hi Hi Hi” and the encore “Long Tall Sally.”

The taper of the Rotterdam show himself states:  “The Wings concert at the Doelen in Rotterdam, August 17, 1972 was the first ever ‘rockshow’ I attended being 13 years old at the time. I took along a portable cassette recorder I borrowed from a friend and recorded the whole show, well…not the complete show because after Hi, Hi, Hi the friend who I went with (he was 15 or 16 years old so my parents agreed I could go as long as he watched over me) said we’d better get out of the place before we would get stuck in the crowd. The tape is now circulating as a CD-R set, unfortunately of poor sound quality. I’ve been wondering a long time if there would be a better source-tape somewhere…”

The show starts off as the others for the latter half of the tour with “Eat At Home” serving as the set opener followed by “Smile Away” and the catchy “Bip Bop.”  McCartney asks if they speak English, since he does not speak Dutch.  “1882” is introduced by McCartney as a slower number.  He said many times on the tour that the song would be on the new album released about Christmastime, but ultimately it remains unreleased and is forgotten today.

Denny Laine sings his first number of the night “I Would Only Smile” and is a welcomed, upbeat counterpoint to the dower “1882.”  Their latest single “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” follows and segues into what sounds like an impromptu performance of “Blue Moon Of Kentucky.” 

The second half of the show starts off with the polished rockabilly “Best Friend” followed by a slow, rumbling version of “Soily.”  After “I Am Your Singer” a string of non-Paul songs follow with Linda’s first song “Seaside Woman,” Laine’s “Say You Don’t Mind” and Henry McCullough’s majestic “Henry’s Blues.”

Wings give an intense performance of “Wild Life” punctuated by Paul’s rough and raw vocal performance.  Denny Laine has a little speech, largely inaudible in this recording, before he sings the first verse of “Turkey In The Straw” acapella.  “My Love” is the final song on the tape and the rest of this enjoyable performance is unfortunately missing.  

Silver Apple include the soundcheck to the August 19th show in Groningen, two nights later.  Most of the show is available on Live In Groningen (Darthdisc DD 009).  The soundcheck is sourced from a poor to fair sounding amateur recording.  It consists of the band practicing “Hi Hi Hi,” “The Mess” and doodle around on stage with Paul barking orders.  It’s interesting but not revelatory.  Turkey In The Straw is a solid release for the Wings fan who has everything, but the mediocre sound quality means this isn’t essential. 

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