Thursday 12 January 2012

Magical Mystery Tour

The Monday before Christmas husband and I escaped, to a concert at the MEN arena in Manchester, for some much needed pre-Christmas cheer. I had bought the tickets on a wet afternoon in October and was really looking forward to this concert which was going to be one of the highlights of my year but recent events overshadowed it and we could easily have forgotten to go. I had previously seen the Beatles about 1964 at the Hull ABC. I had pestered my parents so much to go to see them that my father had queued up for tickets for a friend and I. Didn't I have the best father in the world and December 19, the day of the concert, would have been his birthday. I am sure that he would have approved.  We arrived at the arena later than we would have liked courtesy of an accident on the motorway and roadworks once we hit Manchester itself. There were only 20 minutes to go until the concert was due to start and it seemed as if the entire audience was still outside trying to get through the doors. There was no way that the concert was going to start on time and it did not.

We had seats in the lower tier with a good view of the stage and the screens on either side of it. These were the most expensive concert tickets that we have ever bought, but they were worth it! Twenty minutes later than advertised the arena lights were dimmed then without any announcement or fanfare the man that we had all come to see and his band walked on stage. There he was, Paul McCartney looking slim and fit in a dark blue/grey suit with the familiar Nehru jacket and his equally familiar bass guitar. Within seconds the stage was lit by psychedelic lights and the Magical Mystery Tour had started.  After the fourth number he removed his jacket, with a flourish, revealing the pink lining, then tossed it aside as a multimillionaire can.

He played songs that had been hits for the Beatles, for Wings and for other artists - all written by him. Some I had not realised that he had written, but now that I know, I can see the McCartney stamp. We had a sing along to Ob la di, Ob la da then Hey Jude with McCartney on  a psychedelically painted piano. While for other numbers he retreated to a grand piano at the back of the stage. One of the highlights was the Bond theme Live and Let Die accompanied by fireworks.

Once we got to the two hour mark I kept thinking 'this must be the last number', then he would launch into another one. He actually played for three hours, including two encores, finishing at 11.20 pm. He seemed as if he could have gone on all night and I am sure that most of the audience would have stayed. There is no question about his versatility or his brilliance as a songwriter and performer. According to a review of this concert he played an amazing 39 songs.


A Brit in Tennessee said...

How exciting !
Sounds like a spectacular performance, three hours, is a long time on stage for a young entertainer, let alone one who is almost seventy years young.
He still looks so handsome.

Leon Sims said...

I just stumbled apon your blog and read your post on Paul. How lucky you are. Its so far for many artists to come to Australia. I think it was 1964 the Beatles came here.

cheshire wife said...

Jo - yes, yes and yes!

Leon and Sue - yes, we were lucky.

mrsnesbitt said...

Paul was always my favourite Beatle. I remember as a child, well 10 ish when hearing they were on tour, writing to tell them they could stay at our house! Worried for weeks incase they did as we only had 2 bedrooms! lol!

Rosaria Williams said...

Not bad for someone his age! I do forget that he has never retired, or stopped playing. So, yes, he can entertain us for hours on end.
Lucky you!

Valerie said...

How lovely and how amazing that he has the stamina to play or so long. Glad you enjoyed yourselves.

Akelamalu said...

OH I'm so envious! We tried to get tickets but they were all sold out :(

GaynorB said...

Happy that you had a great time at the concert. I was speaking to someone over Christmas who had the same wonderful experience. She said that Paul was fantastic value for money, and preformed as though he wanted to rather than just a job.

cheshire wife said...

mrsnesbitt - Paul was always my favourite Beatle.

rosaria & Valerie - that new young wife must have something to do with it!

Akelamalu - you will have to be quicker next time.

Gaynor - his performimg seems to be effortless.

Carol said...

I grew up listening to The Beatles and I think I would have loved that sounds amazing!! Glad you and hubby had a wonderful time :-)

C x

Maggie May said...

Oh you are so lucky! That man has stamina! I remember the thrill of the Beatles when I was young and their lovely songs that I still like today. However, I never got to see them in the flesh.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Rob-bear said...

Sounds utterly delightful. So glad you had a good time.
Perhaps retirement will agree with you. Seems like a good start.

cheshire wife said...

Carol - I can't remember life before the Beatles.

Maggie - those were the days!

Rob - it certainly raised our spirits.

Gill - That British Woman said...

wow, you are very lucky I would have loved to be there,

Gill in Canada

cheshire wife said...

Gill - look out for a concert near you.

Diane said...

Just popped over from Leon and Sue. It must have been a great concert, I would loved to have seen it.
Living in Africa most of my life I never got to see live shows very much. We were lucky though, that both Elton John and Queen were sanction busters and I got to see them both. I play Freddie's music all the time since seeing him live :) I still love the Beatles but never had a chance to see any of them. Diane

cheshire wife said...

Food, fun and life - thank you for visiting. I have never seen Elton John or Queen. So I think that it is all swings and roundabouts.