Wings concert review from the opening night of the 1975-1976 world tour.
It isn't the last word in presentation - doesn't even attempt to be; it isn't a one man show. Anyone who expected it to be either of those things came out disappointed, but most of us emerged from the opening night of the Wings' tour elated.
We'd heard 29 songs, loved 'em all and seen two hours fly by as if they were but 40 minutes.
We felt we'd been invited to a musical at home, to meet the family and watch our hosts perform a selection of their well-known party pieces. The introductions were informal, the dress almost come - as - you - are and the repartee warm and lighthearted - you know, a few "Howaya doin's?" and "Fancy clapping your hands" and suchlike and we soon felt very much welcome.
The party's scheduled to begin at eight and it does - prompt. The lights are low and we can scarcely see our hosts as Linda leads us into Venus and Mars. After that poignant opening, Wings, like all good hosts, save the rest of the smooch till later and give us something to get a good buzz going. Rock Show first and nods from Paul acknowledge the applause, then Jet. The sound man's a bit jumpy, bound to be nervous, but feel the quality, nevermind the mix - he'll sort it out soon.
One more song - Let Me Roll It - then Denny Laine has his turn with the lead vocals on Spirits Of Ancient Egypt. Can he follow an ex-Beatle without a tremor? Of course he can, c'mon, they're buddies aren't they?
Paul shifts to piano for Little Woman Love and C Moon strung together. Ah yes, C Moon, what a B side that was, eh? Then Maybe I'm Amazed, Lady Madonna, surely not quite the best choice for a Beatles rocker?...and Long and Winding Road.
Over to Jimmy McCulloch now. Jimmy's not gone out of his way to be noticed, but you find yourself glancing across to him as often as a good driver does to his rear view mirror. He starts out singing the song he had a hand in himself - Medicine Jar - and a couple of sceptics sit bolt upright in their seats and crane forward. His singing's not only every bit as strong as Paul's, he's giving us one of the highlights of the show (his solo's are highlights too). After it, the next two seem a little uneventful, then out come the wicker chairs and Paul, Jimmy and Denny sit for the acoustic set with Linda just behind them.
It begins a mite raggedy, but Richard Corey ends well and Bluebird and I've Just Seen A Face go like a dream, before Paul's left alone to do Blackbird and Yesterday. Much applause for these two, of course, but no more than the most popular new songs are accorded.
Paul's twenties-ish You Gave Me The Answer, which one wouldn't have thought to be everyone's cup of tea, goes down almost as well as anything and then comes another big highlight, Magneto And Titanium Man. Here Linda's vocal comes up particularly good and strong on the chorus. Poor Linda, she may not yet be completely accepted by fans or critics, but what she does, she does well and in my humble opinion a good many songs would be the poorer without her contribution.
Into the home straight and out come the biggies - a huge version of Junior's Farm, the new single Letting Go, the Bond one; Live and Let Die, which gives the brass section, a new feature, a chance for a really good blow. Up to now they've been used most effectively but with restraint. On C Moon, in particular, I'd have welcomed their presence a little earlier.
Call Me Back Again, My Love and then Listen To What The Man Said, with new drummer Joe English sounding wonderfully slappy.
Thanks very much for a super evening. I enjoyed myself very much, can I come again and will you please treat this as my thank - you - for -having - me letter?