Paul McCartney returns to roots with performance at Cavern Club

Fans of Paul McCartney make their way inside The Cavern Club in Liverpool on Thursday afternoon.
Caption
Fans of Paul McCartney make their way inside The Cavern Club in Liverpool on Thursday afternoon.

Credit: Richard Martin-Roberts

Credit: Richard Martin-Roberts

Paul McCartney still believes in yesterday.

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The former Beatles singer, songwriter and bass player returned to his rock 'n' roll roots Thursday, playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. The club, site of nearly 300 performances by the band during the early 1960s, is no longer at the Mathew Street site where it opened as a jazz club in 1957, closing in 1973. However, Thursday's 2 p.m. show was played in a venue near the original location, and McCartney announced the gig on his website Thursday morning.

The performance comes days after McCartney, 76, walked across the crosswalk made famous by the Beatles' 1969 album, "Abbey Road." The singer will be going on tour and will return to Liverpool in December, The Guardian reported.

According to author Bob Spitz’s 2005 book, “The Beatles: The Biography,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney, as members of the Quarrymen, played “a skiffle interlude” at the Cavern in 1957. The Beatles’ formal debut at the club occurred Feb. 9, 1961, and the group made 292 appearances at the club. Their final appearance was Aug. 3, 1963, six months before the group’s first trip to the United States.

The club reopened in 1984, rebuilt with many of the original bricks, The Guardian reported. It was McCartney's second appearance at the new site; he performed in 1999 at the club, the newspaper reported.

Thursday, McCartney played 28 songs before a crowd of approximately 250 people, the BBC reported.

“Coming back here is pretty amazing for me," McCartney told the audience.

McCartney began his set by reworking the lyrics from the song "Michelle," the BBC reported.

"Liverpool! Cavern! These are words that go together well," he sang.

Then McCartney sang “Twenty Flight Rock,” the Eddie Cochran song "that got me in The Beatles.” McCartney sang the song when he auditioned for Lennon in 1957.

Halfway through the number, McCartney stopped and admonished some audience members for taking photos and recording the concert on their telephones, the BBC reported.

"I think you've all been told not to take photos," he said. "And you're taking them, and you're taking them, and I don't want to get put off, and you're putting me off."

When McCartney resumed, he played songs from his Beatles career, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” “All My Loving,” “Love Me Do,” “Lady Madonna,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Get Back.” From his solo career, he played hits like “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” and “Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five.”

McCartney also played four songs from his upcoming "Egypt Station" album, Billboard reported, including "Come On to Me" and "Confidante."

He ended the two-hour concert with a Beatles number, “Helter Skelter.”