Mad Day Out - Liverpool 2018


I’d like to tell you about our story in 2018.

I help run a Beatles night in Manchester City centre. It’s only a small band of fans but it keeps it ticking over.

One of the features is our Mad Day Out, held mostly in Liverpool.

Set for the Saturday, 9th June 2018 a few of us set off to visit the John & Yoko, Double Fantasy exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool and a trip out to Port Sunlight but everything was about to change.

Word on the ground was that Paul McCartney & band had arrived in Liverpool with James Corden and a secret gig was in the offering. Wristbands were available through a website, we tried, we failed.

Rumours were rife that the gig was either at the Philharmonic Hall, Philharmonic Music Rooms or wait for it, the Philharmonic Pub

So, instead of heading down to the waterfront here we were stood outside the Philharmonic Pub with a crowd of onlookers and fans wearing Beatles T Shirts plus one guy wearing a Paul McCartney tour T-Shirt. ​

Eventually barriers were erected, a spot of filming was done outside the pub of fans peering through the windows to catch a glimpse of Macca. While all this was going on, one of our party made friends with a guy who looked like the main organiser for the event. 'Come back at three and I'll get you in' he said. Was this a ploy to get rid of us? Of course, we stayed.

​Eventually it was revealed that Paul has entered the Philharmonic Pub through the side entrance, only two fans were present as everybody else was waiting round the corner.

​You could hear a muffled sound as Paul and the band went through their set of songs.

Meanwhile, another of our party had befriended two girls who were helping to organise the gig.

​We moved to the side of the pub and a party of four were let in and the door closed.

The door opened "Two more can come in", I was pushed forward and I'm in the pub. Then disaster, "Sorry we can't let you watch the gig because we can't film the image of your Cavern Club T-Shirt", apologetically I was asked to leave.

Everybody was advising me to turn my T Shirt inside out, next thing I know I'm wearing my T Shirt inside out!

The door opens and the same two girls who had 'evicted me' advised that no other fans would be let in the side door but further people may be allowed to enter at the entrance around the corner. They could see what I had done with the T Shirt, and they genuinely looked upset that they couldn't let me back in.

Around the corner they were setting up barriers again, the word had spread that Macca was in the Phil and the amassing crowds were hoping for a glimpse of the Beatle in town.

As we were ushered behind the barriers further away from the entrance to the Philharmonic Pub by luck one of the young girls came out of the pub, "okay you", "you" and "you", more from our party were let through the barriers to go in. "What about me"? I asked, with a big smile she said, "Yes! come on through!" That meant amazingly all six of us had got into the Philharmonic Pub.

Once in, we were asked to go into the room 'rowdy' enjoying ourselves. First person I saw was Christine with a beaming smile, I turned to the right and there's Macca belting out Ob-La-De, Ob La Da, talk about being emotional, this was unbelievable!

Macca and his band were on top form and up close, sources say there was 50 in the audience plus Liverpudlian comedian John Bishop, Macca and the band on the makeshift stage with black curtains and James Corden serving free beer behind a false bar!

This was surreal to say the least:-)

It turned out I'd missed the performance of A Hard Day’s Night before I entered the bar during Ob-La-De, Ob La Da.

After a rousing 'Jet' we were treated to the Beatles classic 'Drive My Car', I used to love it when he opened his gigs with Drive My Car, a great live number.

Another highlight followed with Macca asking, "do you mind if we perform a new unreleased song from our new album", do we mind, bring it on!  'If You Come On to Me, I'll Come On to You' (Come On To Me) is a chunky mid paced rocker that's promises great things for the album.

This was followed by a couple of earlier Beatles songs, namely, a brisk I've Just Seen a Face and a sing a long Love Me Do.

In the past I've seen a few lacklustre performances of ​'I've Got a Feeling' but this was a superb rendition by Paul and the band.

"Here's one we wrote for the Rolling Stones" as Paul and the band played 'I Wanna Be Your Man.

'Back in the USSR' rocked, '' 'Birthday' dedicated to three fans in the audience plus anybody who has a birthday this year, rocked, while Lady Madonna rocked!

James Corden joined Paul on stage for 'Hey Jude' but before the song began, he revealed to the audience that when he asked Paul to do the Carpool Karaoke show he said he would only do it if it was recorded in Liverpool.

After the anthemic 'Hey Jude' the band quickly left the stage as Paul shook hands with fans stood at the front, Macca got to the end of the line and I said, "cheers Macca" and was rewarded with a high five!

As we left the room in single file we had to sign a form. It was taking ages, "sorry that it's taking so long mate", said a guy from the crew. I tapped him on the shoulder, "Listen mate, nothing could upset me today, thanks for letting us all be part of this"

My only worry now is how to top 'Paul at the Phil' for next year’s Mad Day Out! 

In July 2018, Christine & I were supposed to be meeting a couple of friends from London in Liverpool but they had to call the trip off.

We decided to change our stay in Liverpool to tie in with the LIPA Graduation that Paul McCartney would normally attend, after all there was no way Christine was going to let me cancel our stay at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel😊

Paul McCartney had announced an event at his old school called 'Casual Conversations from LIPA' for Wednesday, 25th July, a live Q&A with Jarvis Cocker plus additional questions from Facebook. 

The major highlight of the talk was the announcement of a 'secret gig' in Liverpool the following day., but where was it and how did you get tickets?

​It turned out the secret gig was at the Cavern Club, just round the corner from the Hard Day’s Night Hotel.

​We began queuing outside the Cavern Club at 0630, there were already around 20 fans in the queue, some had been there since midnight. An announcement was made on Twitter that tickets were available from the Echo Arena at 10am (although 20 tickets ended up being given to fans at the Cavern Club).  Luckily, we got to know before then and made our way by taxi, eventually (that’s too long a story to tell here) managing to obtain wristbands and tickets. Next stop was a taxi to the Cavern Club to secure a place in the queue. ​

The atmosphere around the Cavern was electric, fans with or without tickets converged on Mathew Street to sample the atmosphere or catch a glimpse of Paul McCartney.
According to the posters queuing began at 1200, fans were let into the Cavern at 1300 and Paul and the band were due to play at 1400.
We took our places right in line with the microphone that Paul would use. 
​​We didn't obtain tickets for his last appearance in 1999 but ended up frozen on Chavasse Park watching the big screen. Now here we were 19 years later waiting for Paul McCartney to walk on stage in the Cavern Club where I've been watching bands since it's opening in 1984.

Paul and his band casually strolled on to an unbelievable reception before their first number 'Band Jam'.

Next was Twenty Flight Rock' ‘the song that got me into the Beatles', dramatically Paul stopped the performance to berate fans filming the gig and taking photos. "You've been told to turn your phones off and not to take photos". Sorry Paul but we were told to turn our phones off and no large lens cameras would be allowed, thankfully everybody adhered to his request and the show continued.

Magical Mystery Tour was the first Beatles song of the afternoon, followed by 'Jet' then into the first full on sing-along through 'All My Loving'.

His banter with the crowd was brilliant, and he really seemed to be enjoying being back at the Cavern Club in this intimate atmosphere.

It was great to hear four new songs from his forthcoming album 'Egypt Station'.

He'd played 'Come On To Me' at the Philharmonic Pub but you could see that the band had been together rehearsing in London as this version was more like the recent release and Paul knew all the words:-).

Another two new songs immediately made an impression 'Confidante' is a lovely acoustic number that drew some terrific banter from my friends the 'Macca boys' at the front of the stage.

'Fuh You' is another I can't wait to hear again, although 'Who Cares' seemed fairly standard McCartney.

The Wings songs sounded fantastic, definite highlights were 'Letting Go, Let Me Roll It, and 1985, while a funkier 'Hi, Hi, Hi' and 'Band on the Run' took the roof off.
Most of the crowd had come to see a Beatle playing Beatles songs at the Cavern and they weren't disappointed.

After the enthusiastic sing-a-long during 'In Spite of All the Danger' a rollicking 'Birthday', 'Get Back', 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' were followed by 'I Saw Her Standing There' a song the Beatles used to play at the original Cavern sung by an original Beatle.

What more could you ask for?

Well, Paul returned to perform Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) and more than two hours after he took to the stage gave an unbelievable performance of 'Helter Skelter'. The place rocked, and I mean rocked.

What a song to finish on and leave fans wanting more...

And that was it, over two hours of Paul McCartney performing live at the Cavern Club.

If someone had said to me, in 2018, you'll see Paul McCartney live in Liverpool at the Philharmonic Pub, the Cavern Club and the Echo Arena, I'd have laughed in their face but that's what's happening. As they say two down one to go.

I don’t like Arena’s, my first gigging days in Manchester were smaller venues like the Hard Rock in Stretford, the Apollo Theatre & the Free Trade Hall.

Paul McCartney was due to play the Liverpool Arena on the 12th December 2018.

As usual it involved queuing up overnight in advance to ensure we got tickets and wasn’t sat in a seat in some country far, far away😊

There was six of us in the queue until the early morning and when the box office opened, they gave us tickets in Row H which we immediately threw back at them, eventually receiving tickets in Row E, that we accepted but still wasn’t happy!

On the day of the gig we had a few drinks in Jury’s Inn facing the Arena and ambled over to take our seats.

The pre film had started and at the end of the film where it shows Paul McCartney’s iconic bass guitar, I turned to Christine who had tears in her eyes. As Paul took to the stage, I asked her what’s the matter?

She said, “In another couple of hours it will be the end of the best year ever!”

So, yes, 2018 was the year we saw Paul McCartney live in a pub, a club and an Arena and it was as Christine said, the best year ever!

Eddie M


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