Paul McCartney Hopes for Intimate Shows Before Upcoming Tour
Paul McCartney said U.S. tour dates were being planned in support of his upcoming album, Egypt Station, and noted that he hoped his band could perform some intimate shows during their time on the road.
His first LP release since 2013’s New is due on Sept. 7, and the only confirmed live appearance so far is at Austin City Limits in October. Earlier this month, McCartney played a tiny Liverpool pub, where he debuted the song “Come On to Me,” which was released as part of a double-A side single last week. In 2016, he played a small club show in between his Desert Trip appearances.
“Before August, we might just do a couple of little gigs, just because they're fun,” McCartney told the BBC in a new interview. "We once played the Hundred Club [in London], we once played the Cavern [in Liverpool], and those little gigs, they're really nice to do. ... It not only takes you back to where you started, but there's the intimacy in the audience, and you can have a lot of fun. And you sometimes don't feel like it's quite so precious. Because if there's 40,000 people who paid all that money, you've gotta think about pleasing them. If there's only a couple hundred, and we're all having a party, you just think, 'We can throw in 'Matchbox,' or we'll throw in an odd number that we'd only do at sound checks or something. So they're good fun for that reason.”
McCartney’s interest in low-key shows could go hand-in-hand with his attitude to his success. “The great thing about the fact that you've been so successful for so long comes the not-so-great thing, which is that at some point, you're just gonna get big-headed,” he admitted. “And you are just gonna think, 'I am pretty hot.' And I think you've got to watch out for that. You gotta hope that you're spotting that, as you're doing it.”
He also touched on retirement, comparing himself to sports stars who end their careers only because of factors beyond their control, such as health issues. “I don't think any of them want to retire particularly,” he said. “And I was talking to – name-dropping, clunk – Willie Nelson, and I was talking about this whole retiring thing, because he's older than I am, even. And he says, 'Retire from what?' And I think that just says it. Retire from what?”
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