Paul McCartney and Wings Newcastle City Hall 10th July 1973

Paul McCartney and Wings Newcastle City Hall 10th July 1973
wings73 My one big concert-going regret is never seeing the Beatles. I was just too young to have seen them in concert, being only 9 when they last toured the UK. So when Paul McCartney started to tour again, with his band Wings, I was determined to see him. However; I also missed the first time Wings played in the north east, which was a “secret” last minute gig at Newcastle University, McCartney and co simply turning up in a van and asking to play. A remember a girl at school coming in and telling me that her brother had seen Paul McCartney the night before (he was a student at Newcastle University), and at first not believing her. Anyway my first real opportunity to see McCartney in concert was on Wings 1973 concert tour which called at Newcastle City Hall on 10th July 1973. The tour was to promote the band’s new album “Red Rose Speedway” and the single “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond film of the same name. Wings’ lineup at the time was Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine (ex Moody Blues; guitar and vocal), Henry McCullough (ex Grease Band; guitar), and Denny Seiwell (drums). The support group for the tour was the excellent Brinsley Schwarz who Paul and Linda asked to accompany them after seeing the Brinsleys perform at the London Hard Rock Cafe a few weeks previously. I hadn’t managed to get tickets for the show which had of course sold out immediately, but wasn’t going to let that stop me. So I went along to the City Hall on the night to try and score a ticket outside. After wandering around outside the venue for some time without having any luck and still being ticketless, a shifty looking guy came up to me and asked me if I needed a ticket for the show. I explained that I did, and he offered to get me into the venue if I paid him a few pounds. I don’t remember exactly how much he charged me but it wasn’t too expensive, not much more than face value. wingsflyerI gave him the money and he walked to the door of the City Hall with me, placing his hand on my shoulder. The doormen obviously had “an arrangement” with this guy and let me pass through. I’d been told that once inside I was on my own, ticketless, but that if I stood at the back of the hall I would be ok; which, indeed, I was. So I was in 🙂 !. Hence I do not have a ticket stub for this gig, but I do have the programme and a flyer promoting “Red Rose Speedway”, both of which reassure me that my memory is not playing tricks with me on this occasion. Wings set that night was quite short in comparison to later gigs I saw, and just seemed to fly over. I stood at the back of the City Hall almost not believing that I was actually seeing Paul McCartney in concert. The set was a mixture of Wings and McCartney songs and a couple of Denny Laine tracks. Stand-outs for me were Maybe I’m Amazed, Live and Let Die and Hi Hi Hi. I was surprised that they played the Moody’s “Go Now”, which was just great to hear. They also played Denny’s song “Say You Don’t Mind” which had been a hit in 1972 for Colin Blunstone. The closest that we got to a Beatles song was the encore, which was Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally”, which Paul used to play with the fab four. A great concert, and I was buzzing and on a high for days afterwards. Setlist: Soily; Big Barn Bed; When the Night; Seaside Woman; Wild Life; Little Woman Love; C Moon; Maybe I’m Amazed; My Love; Live and Let Die; Go Now; Say You Don’t Mind; The Mess; Hi, Hi, Hi. Encore: Long Tall Sally. Paul quote from the programme” “Performing hasn’t changed any since I last went out. It’s just a different band and different material. It could never change. Performing is performing. It’s still just you singing a song….”

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Roy Matthews on June 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Cool review. I saw them 3 times on this tour and have a recording of one of the Manchester shows from May 73.


  2. Peter, I missed these Macca shows at the City Hall in the 70’s, wish I had gone in all candour. I was a Beatles fan club member when I was an adolescent, I remember vividly remember the bitterly cold January night in 1963 when twelve year old me saw them on Thank Your Lucky Stars for the 1st time, doing Please Please Me, it really is hard to overestimate just how exciting it was, everyone at school was talking about it on the Monday; the following month I saw them at the Empire in Sunderland, and again the following month at the City Hall. These were the best times I saw them, before the screaming started, I saw them again at the end of the year at the City Hall and it was just one long wail from start to finish, and girls wetting themselves…and I mean literally. Crazy days. But those early shows are such a memory, Paul sounded so pure singing a Taste of Honey. I saw them finally in 65 on their final ever UK tour at the City Hall and the boredom was strongly evident, they just seemed completely done with the non stop screaming, as were me and my pals, we were well into Dylan by then and the fabs were starting to seem passe; but then a few weeks later Rubber Soul came out and we were hooked all over again, between that album and the early Who singles that year and Dylan it felt like we all grew up. Amazing times


    • Posted by vintagerock on April 3, 2021 at 9:18 am

      Great memories Walter. It must have been fantastic to see the Beatles. Happy happy days. Thanks for sharing cheers Peter


  3. Posted by Vince Burns on January 29, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    I was at the same concert although had no idea Wings were due to play that day. I was a 19yr old on leave from W Germany. I decided to go into town to buy some new clothes. I found myself walking past City Hall and glanced up at the poster advertising Wings. I was a massive Beatles / Wings fan. As I was standing wondering how I could get my hands on a ticket the Wings tour bus pulled up and the doors opened. Out jumped Paul McCartney wearing a tartan jacket and blue jeans followed by Linda in a navy vest and no bra. I instinctively shouted Hi Paul and he replied Hello mate. The rest of the band appeared and they all went of towards the entrance. I was surprised to see how few people were actually there to welcome the band compared to the Beatles gigs of the 60s. There were maybe 25 people some like me who were just passing by chance. The coach driver came over to me and asked me if I had tickets. I replied I hadn’t and he told me to follow him to the side of the coach where he opened the side bins and produced boxes of flyers, frisbees, and stickers all promoting Red Rose Speedway album. He said “come back tonight and be outside the main entrance and hand out these flyers etc and you’ll get a free ticket. There was a girl of around 12 who also volunteered. I returned at 7pm and the young lass also turned up. We handed out hundreds of items and when we realised the concert was starting we realised the bloody bus driver had legged it and I was left arguing with the security guys what had happened. The young lass was crying and I got a bit stroppy and the bouncer kicked my arse down the City Hall steps. Just then a young couple came over to me and said they had seen what had happened and said they had two tickets for row 4 but had changed their mind and did we want them. I said I did but the young girl started crying as she was skint. I ended up paying for hers and we got to see Paul and the band four rows from the stage. By the way. The line up had another McCoulloch. Jimmy from Thunerclap Newman. No relation. It was the drummers birthday and a cake with lighted candles was brought out halfway through the gig. I had finally got to see at least one Beatle. 🎸 Vince Burns Blackpool.


    • Posted by vintagerock on January 29, 2023 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Vince. Many thanks for sharing. A great story about a great day. I have many happy memories of seeing Paul and Wings at the City Hall in the 70s. Happy days Peter


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