It had been a good day. We’d travelled along the south facing coast towards Cardigan Bay from an hour or so further along the coastline. We’d had long catch up conversations with our family and ended up trekking along a gorgeous coastal path as the sea and sky skirted with every weather mood it could imagine. We dodged the rain, braced ourselves against the wind and occasionally caught the sun as we took in the panorama. By late evening we’d felt the day, and most of the weekend we’d planned, was all but over.
I’d intended to catch some of the Glastonbury highlights and hoped to see as much of the Paul McCartney performance as I could. Little did I realise how late I’d stay up. At 1:30 I collapsed into bed having witnessed one of the most life affirming concerts I’ve ever been lucky enough to watch. If music on TV has seemed to follow a predictable trajectory over the last thirty odd years then I suggest to you that Paul McCartney may well have re written the rule book. I don’t think any exception or clarification should be given for age…if you can’t do the gig, you can’t do it…but this? This was a gig that 25 years olds would have found exhausting. In fact, it was exhausting just watching it.
Everything was there. The Beatles, solo, Wings and Wings B sides. Then there was Springsteen…you know all this of course. So why am still talking about it? Simply put, I think Saturday night and early Sunday morning proved once again how important music is. It showed once more that music can make you think you’re walking one way then pick you up and point you in the opposite direction. Reader: it changes everything.
It was also a great contrast to one of the more disappointing live events I’d witnessed a few days earlier. I had been intrigued to see Little Big Town supporting the Eagles. I was also interested in hearing Vince Gill replacing the late Glenn Frey. Vince was great, LBT were on a little early but I did catch a spirited Girl Crush through a rather muted PA which miraculously came alive for the headliners. They (The Eagles) sounded great, but there was no sense of a gig which any of the people on stage seemed to be enjoying. There was little musical camaraderie and the distinct impression lingered that money was the driving force. In contrast I felt Paul might have happily played all night for nothing.
So it is with some surprise and a little humility I have to confess that, this week, TV has won the day. There are lots of Glastonbury moments to check out but from what I saw I recommend Jack White, Self Esteem and Kacey Musgraves. Do tell me your own favourite bits too.
On this week’s AC I’ll try to keep that positivity going as we celebrate 2022 so far. We’ll play some of our favourite things as well as bringing you great new tracks from Loudon Wainwright, Eric Paslay, Tre Burt, Brandi Carlile and Courtney Marie Andrews.
We’re on from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening and at a time and place of your own choosing on BBC Sounds. Join me if you can.
If I was to do a one-word review of Paul McCartney’s Glastonbury set I think “JOYOUS” would just about cover it – two-word review – “surprisingly joyous”! As someone with almost the full back catalogue I had felt some of the big 2012 live gigs (Olympics and Buckingham Palace) had been disappointing performances but 10 years later at Glastonbury I thought his vocals were great and he seemed to be using what was left of his voice a whole lot better than a decade earlier – he’s still hitting all the high notes and its just a bit of the power and strength that’s been lost on the loud screamy songs. For me McCartney live has been almost the polar opposite of Dylan live – McCartney has at times gone to ridiculous lengths to replicate the studio master performances on stage while Dylan rarely attempts to recapture how a song sounded on the original LP / CD and finds ways of reinventing the song and arrangement to fit the shape his voice is in and the sound of his latest band. I thought McCartney’s band were awesome – recreating songs that The Beatles would never have attempted live and carrying them off with ease. Jim Spence had a tweet that resonated with me – an 80 year old doing a 3 hour set and not requiring a comfort break was a feat in itself – after a few cups of tea I had at least 1 and haven’t hit 50 yet. Paul is now twice the age that John Lennon was when he was murdered… it’s just brilliant that he’s still with us and stil wanting to get up there an entertain us and doing it so well. There were so many highlights… thought Something on ukelele was great and with the footage of George and The Beatles running on the background it heightened the emotion of Paul paying tribute to George… Here Today always poignant but the reminder to tell people you love them while you can was well made – the duet with John on I’ve Got A Feeling a new way of using tech. Thanks for being one of the folks of twitter raving about it (roddy Hart, Davie Scott, Kevin McDermott also take a bow) and cutting through some of the social media moans about the BBC sound or vocals. It was great to set aside 3 hours with iplayer and experience McCartney delivering a game-changer of a performance!
P.S. I didn’t spot a Wings B-side but could spy a Wings non-album single – Junior’s Farm?
Completely agree Ricky. I only stayed up watching it live for the first hour – and then spent most of the next day getting irritated at how long it took to show up on iPlayer! He did a marvellous set – and reminded me just how good a performer he is. (I have to confess, I’ve only seen him play live once, in a soulless Earls Court…)
The gig did remind me of the Abbey Road medley that DB performed a few times almost ten years back – so that then inspired me to go listen to those shows again.