4 March 2010
It can’t be easy being the son of a Beatle; especially when you decide to pick up a guitar or a pair of drumsticks. Just ask Julian Lennon, or Sean. Or even Zak Starkey. So when James McCartney decided to pick up the baton his old man had been keeping warm for him, he must have known that he’d be under the microscope from day one. But apart from a noodling guitar solo he played on Macca’s Flaming Pie over ten years ago, McCartney Jr has been keeping a low profile. But now the lad (can you still be a lad at 32?) has slipped anchor and has set out on his first showcase tour. And last night young Jim and the band pitched up at the club formerly known as The Social. No time for introductions, it was straight into New York Times – a nippy little thing that suggested all those years spent at his father’s knee weren’t wasted. Next up a slightly heavier Moonstar, which gave his band a bit more latitude. A couple of non-descript efforts followed (and still no inter-song banter) before he launched into a right belter: My Friend sounded like he’d finally woken up and, at the same time, written a better song than his dad. A brief respite followed with two sumptuous piano lead tunes: Fallen Angel and Erratic reached the (sparse) crowd but, instead of acknowledging them, the band launched into Denial, where James was reaching for notes not heard since a certain Helter Skelter came skidding off The White Album. Still in silent mode, he picked up a mandolin and sang a little ditty called I Love You Dad (seriously) before closing the set with one of his own (Angel) and one of Neil Young’s (Old Man). I liked the Old Man better.