Paul McCartney “Middle Of The Court” (No Mftr. Listed)
Earls Court Arena, London, UK. September 14, 1993
Disc 1 (79:40): Intro, Drive My Car, Coming Up, Looking For Changes, Jet, Intro, All My Loving, Let Me Roll It, intro, Peace In The Neighbourhood, Off The Ground, Can’t Buy Me Love, intro, Robbie’s Bit (thanks Chet), Good Rockin’ Tonight, We Can Work It Out,Intro, I Lost My Little Girl, Ain’t No Sunshine, Hope Of Deliverance, Michelle, Biker Like An Icon, Here There Anywhere, Yesterday.
Disc 2 (62:50): My Love, Lady Madonna, C’mon People, Magical Mystery Tour, Let It Be, Live And Let Die, Paperback Writer, Back In The U.S.S.R., Penny Lane, Intro, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, Crowd, Band On The Run, I Saw Her Standing There, Intro, It Ain’t Gonna Rain No ‘Mo – Hey Jude, Outro.
Paul McCartney’s “New World Tour” in support of his ‘Off The Ground’ album was a massive undertaking. A brilliant 78 date tour spanning the whole of 1993. 78 dates which also included his first shows in Australia since his Beatles days and would also be the last Oz shows to date.
Macca’s gigs at that time were beginning to become Beatle heavy as he relaxed his stance on playing his former bands hits – time shows this to be a good call as Paul’s early 1990’s material still hasn’t shaken the quasi-sixties approach to production to covered some of his albums in that period.
“Middle of the Court” represents a show from the first quarter of the European leg of the tour. The following nights show has seen release on the No Label release “Live At Earl’s Court” ( No Label LE 91593-1/2) while the preceding night is also available in collectors circles too. The fidelity of this recording is a slightly distant, bassy audience recording with the unfortunate undercurrent of audience chatter underneath. The music is still very much listenable, the vocals as clear as the technology will allow though some of the bass heavy tracks (“Jet” for one) suffering under the weight of the rumble and there’s the small matter of a little drift from left speaker to right speaker but this is only VERY occasional. Without wanting to sound like I’m spoiled by IEMs and soundboards, the sound isn’t all that bad and without headphones sounds much better given a little space to breathe.
So, all done a couple of quibbles – The cover being the most obvious. A early 90’s show with pictures that come straight from .. around 2009. There’s not one photo here on the double sided slip or the back cover from those 90’s shows – they’re all from the other side of the millennium and sometimes aren’t the most flattering that the company could have picked. A close look at the cover would have confirmed the appearance of Abe Laborial Jr. Who was just graduating from collage in 1993. A little more than oversight there. A brief smile though for the “Looking For Strangers” typo on the back cover ..