Posted by: outroversion | June 30, 2010

Outro in LDN: Paul Mccartney @ Hard Rock Calling 27.6.10

There’s not much use sending me to a festival if you just want to hear about the headliners, more often than not I give them a fleeting mention or miss them entirely for someone everyone doesn’t know everything about. However, when the headliners are Paul Mccartney, Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills and Nash you feel obliged, in the very least to make the effort of letting them play for you.

Hard Rock Calling 27.6.10: Paul Mccartney

Hard Rock calling is a mini festival of sorts set over three stages; one big stage, one large tent and one tiny gazebo, under a picturesque blue sky casing the verdant surround of Hyde Park, headlined in the past by The Who, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. Tickets are great value at around £70, considering you might pay that much to see just one of the luminaries accompanying the former Beatle on a regular night.

Elvis Costello

Things kicked off with Elvis Costello (joshua radin was on before, I watched a few songs but..), upstaging the England game that thankfully, a seeming majority of the crowd preferred to watch, I can only assume they think they’re going to get a better chance to see him in the future?

In my mind only one person was going to win that battle. Regarding the football; it too was fairly obvious who was going to win which is why I didn’t watch it, I heard about it though and at the end of the day if you concede a bunch of goals and are unable to score more then you probably aren’t good enough.

I don’t know a huge amount of Costello songs but it was definitely easy to appreciate his set for what it was, a highly revered songwriter that you will get very few opportunities to see in your lifetime.

MP3: Allison

Tiffany Page

From the Brody Dale school of Rock Chick Tiffany Page can hold her own with the best and indeed, toured with Courtney Love earlier in the year . Pulsing and brooding it was an electrifying performance in contrast to others on the same bill on the pepsi max stage. It’s early days for miss Page but Walk away slow and on your head are definite home runs and she has the mettle to make this last, you’ll see her around in the future I have no doubt.

Crosby, Stills and Nash

Three songwriters, all highly respected and successful in their own rights, making music together. Each with their own unique style and each with their own carefully matured musical prowess. Together it could be nothing but special.

It was an absolute pleasure to witness the harmonies and individual flourishes of these folk pioneers, one of the first “supergroups” and successful for 3 decades before becoming cult icons of the modern age. Their lyricism is timeless and hearing Our House live is something that will live long in the memory.

Mp3s:

Our House

Just a song before I go

Beach House

I missed out on seeing Maryland’s Beach House at Dot to Dot so wasn’t going to miss this. Seeing their lush tones played out in a tiny gazebo and having droning stand out track Norway performed whilst sitting down right in front of the stage surrounded by the idyllic scenes of Hyde park  and no more than 40 other people is about as good as it gets.

Legrand’s vocals feel a little more whisky tinged live than on record and when she needs to power it home she can. Alex Scally’s guitar playing is charming and spacious underscoring Legrand’s rhythmic keys. They say that they’re not really a sunny day band but I couldn’t have dreamed this moment any better.

Mp3:

Norway

Paul Mccartney

It’s been a long time in coming. I’ve turned down the opportunity to see Paul Mccartney a couple of times as I’ve wanted to give it the best chance  for it to be everything i’ve imagined and this summer seemed right.

It’s rare that a high percentage of an estimated 60,000 strong crowd would instinctively know the majority of the songs an artist plays let alone all the words. The thing is though, this is a founding member of the most important band in the history of modern music, it’s hard not to find yourself in the spirit of the occasion.

The set itself was everything you could wish for. Kicking things off with Jet, one of the most fun rock songs imaginable and following with All my loving and got to get you into my life it became apparent no one was going to leave disappointed; whether you were an exclusive Beatles’ fan or appreciated his solo works or wings’ albums just as much there were moments for everyone.

Blackbird, A Day in the life and Hey Jude are obviously iconic snapshots of musical history and having them performed by the writer, who he reminds us on a number of occasions was just a kid from liverpool, was indescribable.

Paul himself was in particularly jovial form regaling the crowd with stories of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton as well as reminiscing over his time with the Beatles. This is particularly poignant when remembering George Harrison with a ukulele version of “something” and even more so when he dedicates “here today..” to John Lennon, laughing as a bird flew by to mark his memory.

There were few surprises in the actual set list but what could really surprise ardent Beatles fans? I mean aside from Tomorrow Never Knows or deciding to do an impromptu carnival of light reinactment. Ob-la-di-ob-li-da is a new inclusion to the live show but is a mainstay of his current tour. His rendition of give peace a chance however, was nothing short of one of those moments.

A tip  for people in a crowd of 50,000 is during the second encore just ya know, edge back, you’re not going to miss a whole lot thanks to the big screens and the amazing sound quality which meant people in the park outside could enjoy it for free! The only thing you’ll miss is a couple of packed tubes before squeezing onto a third and really feeling your journey back in the morning.

Overall Hyde Park Calling is a great festival and definitely worth checking out the line up each year. My wish list for next year would probably be Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters and Vampire Weekend. Either way it’s really really good value- providing you take your own food and drink ;)

Oh and Paul Mccartney. I heard him desribed in one phrase this weekend that I think summed it up quite well- A living legend.

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Responses

  1. Hey, great review here :)

    One point, the festival is Hard Rock Calling, not Hyde Park Calling as you’ve stated in the second-to-last paragraph!

    Glad you had a great day, I know I did!

  2. Thank you very much for yet another first-rate article. I am always searching for original WordPress tips to suggest to

    my readers. Thanks for creating this article. It’s exactly what I was searching for. Truly great post.


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