Paul McCartney’s new horn section
|The four man strong horn section of Wings, here from “Wings Over America”.|
For years we have wanted this. We, the fans that is. Back in the seventies, Paul’s band Wings was strengthened with a four man strong horn section for the 1975/76 and 1979 tours. And they were supposed to play at the 1980 Japan tour as well, but you know…
They would not only play the horns in those songs that originally had horns on it, like “Lady Madonna”, they would also rearrange scores to replace strings with brass, like in “Yesterday”. One of the musicians was Liverpudlian Howie Casey on saxophone, formerly of Derry and the Seniors. You know, that band who wrote to Allan Williams and pledged him not to send that bum group The Beatles over to Hamburg and ruin the scene for them. That Howie Casey. The others were Americans Thaddeus Richard, also on saxophone, Tony Dorsey on trombone and Steve Howard on the trumpet.
These days, Howie Casey has formed a 14-man band called “Beatles With Wings,” and they are touring as a Beatles and Wings tribute act. You can read about that project here.
|The new horn section|
As we first saw during Paul’s concert at the Grand Central Station, he has recruited a new horn section, and we also saw them in Quebec for the opening concert of the current “Freshen Up” tour. After the concert, Paul also posted a photo of the full band, including the new three man horn section.
|Paul McCartney with full band, including the horn section.|
I for one is very happy that we now will have real brass live on stage at Paul’s concerts, and not just imitated horns courtesy of the keyboards of Paul “Wix” Wickens. And why not bring in strings as well? I was lucky enough to attend Paul’s concert at the Roundhouse in London back in 2007, and for once he was joined by a real string section. I can assure you, live strings really lifts the quality of the performance. Lastly, bring back the Rickenbacker bass guitar and you’re all right!
Now, let’s have a look at the current set list:
|Set list from Quebec|
- A Hard Day’s Night
- Hi Hi Hi
- Can’t Buy Me Love
- Letting Go
- Who Cares (Egypt Station)
- Come On To Me (Egypt Station)
- Let Me Roll It
- I’ve Got A Feeling
- Let’Em In
- Maybe I’m Amazed
- I’ve Just Seen A Face
- In Spite Of All The Danger
- From Me To You
- My Valentine
- Love Me Do
- Here Today
- Queenie Eye (NEW)
- Lady Madonna
- Four Five Seconds (Rihanna)
- Eleanor Rigby
- Fuh You (Egypt Station)
- Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite
- Band On The Run
- Back In The USSR
- Let It Be
- Live And Let Die
- Hey Jude
- I Saw Her Standing There
- Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
- Helter Skelter
- Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End
|Quebec street flag|
As you’ll see if you’re familiar with Paul McCartney concerts, the set list really hasn’t been freshened up as much as we would have wanted. Whole decades are neglected, as there are no eighties or nineties songs, for instance. Three songs from his current no. 1 album, “Egypt Station”, bravely enough including the controversial “Fuh You” among them. According to a Billboard interview, they are rehearsing a fourth song from the album to include in the set list in the future. Paul keeps insisting on singing “Four-Five Seconds” and we can understand that: That single has been streamed twice as many times as the most streamed Beatles song, “Here Comes The Sun”, and ten times as much as any other solo McCartney song.
“From Me To You” is the “new” Beatles song Paul has included, having first performed it anew at LIPA this summer. This is the first time a Beatle has been playing this song since it was dropped from The Beatles set list in 1964. It is also accompanied by “Love Me Do”, which he has played on previous tours, and also an even earlier song, the Quarrymen B-side “In Spite Of All The Danger”, also played during his last tour. Only one of the songs from 2013’s “NEW” album has stayed on, as has one of the McCartney originals from 2012’s “Kisses On The Bottom”. So, only “Here Today” from the 80’s, and nothing from the 90’s and the 2000-2010 decade.