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Paul McCartney in Hyde Park

Paul McCartney in Hyde Park

Paul McCartney in Hyde Park

It may have been a day of great disappointment at the World Cup, but Sir Paul McCartney  and his band gave a storming performance in Hyde Park last night - showing that there are some things England can still do very well indeed.

Looking jaunty as ever at 68,  Paul opened his Hard Rock Calling gig with Jet - followed swiftly by All My Loving, Highway, Let Me Roll It, The Long and Winding Road - the  pacey mix of Beatles and Wings numbers went on and on - a joyful Paperback Writer and Lady Madonna - touching tributes to Linda McCartney with My Love; George Harrison's Something and John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance. Before singing Blackbird, Paul recalled that he'd written it with the American Civil Rights movement in mind.

Effortlessly switching from guitar to keyboards, to ukulele  - McCartney demonstrated a similiar  great vocal agility throughout - rock and roll numbers followed by those great anthems and ballads - interspersed with whimsical stories and comments. The show ended in a huge show of fireworks -  encore after encore finally concluding with  Yesterday, Helter Skelter and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Altogether an excellent warm summer night's entertainment, enjoyed by an audience of more than 50,000 people.

What a generous performer McCartney is. And a generous person. Off stage he supports a large number of charities - from peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine, music training for young people  to health projects and vegetarianism.  Many years ago in the 1980s, he agreed to be a prize dinner guest for Kids Aid - a project run by CAFOD. Another charity he supports is Born HIV Free - helping HIV mothers give birth to healthy children. You can add your name to his petition - as well as watching the entire  Hyde Park concert (for the next month) by clicking on: www.youtube.com/bornhivfree