Thursday 28 March 2013

Review: James -- and Paul! -- at the Ambassadors Theatre

Review by Lynda-Louise Lee

A Beatle, a Rolling Stone and a Beatle’s Son. Not a line up you expect to see in a small theatre in a London backstreet for twenty quid.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
But that is exactly what the lucky audience of James McCartney’s tour preview witnessed last night at The Ambassadors Theatre.

Sir Paul’s son James is set to release his first full length album, ME as he embarks upon a forty-seven date, twenty-seven state tour of the USA but with support from friend and fellow musician, Ronnie Wood, and with friends and family cheering loudly from their seats James soon realised he was in perfect company as he nervously presented his new material to an audience that would have screamed and whistled no matter what he sang.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
James’ interaction with the audience highlighted his shyness but his inability to explain the reasons behind his songs was soon helped by the assistance of Wood asking his inspiration and what he was thinking whilst writing.

Along with tracks from his new album, James performed his previously released singles Angel and My Friend and dedicated a couple of songs to his “mum and dad”.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
And it was during this introduction that “Dad” crept out of his seat and onto stage to surprise son James.

Having shocked  the audience into an irrupting frenzy, Sir Paul then made his way behind the piano and after a heartfelt thank you from his son, played backing vocals and piano to the last few songs.

You would think with a Rolling Stone and a Beatle onstage, James’ thunder would have been somewhat stolen, but Ronnie Wood and Sir Paul made it clear from that the night was James’ and all attention was on him whilst they played in the background, only attracting attention to then direct it right back to James “Isn’t he a talent?” - a question that was then bounced back and fourth between the three of them for the next few moments whilst the audience loudly agreed.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
The support and cheeky banter between the three had obviously put James at ease as he then rocked his way through a finale of Rock and Roll and New York Times, causing more “What’s it about James?” jokes from Ronnie and Sir Paul.

After the show, Sir Paul, Ronnie and James, arm in arm with sister Stella fought their way with friends and family through the crowds of fans and paparazzi for an aftershow party at The Ivy.

It was clear in his performance that James has found his own voice and despite his father helping in the production of ME (out now) his individual talent and musicianship is clearly now his own. A singer / songwriter, in his own write…. 

Full Set-List

1- Mexico (with Ronnie)
2- Life's A Pill
3- Snap Out Of It
4- Butterfly
5- Bluebell (piano)
6- You And Me Individually
7- Old Man
8- Wisteria
9- Home
10- Angel
11- Snow (with Ronnie)
12- Wings of A Lightest Weight (with Ronnie)
13- As Strong As You (with Ronnie and Paul)
14- It's All About Rock N Roll (with Ronnie and Paul)

15- My Friend
16- New York Times (with Ronnie and Paul

The BBFC would like to thank Lynda-Louise Lee for sharing this account of last night's show, and for allowing us to publish her photographs.  Please do not reproduce or download anything, including photos, in this article without the express permission of the copyright holder.

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