What a blast we had last week at the Children In Need Rocks The Albert Hall Concert. It was a truly memorable night, boasting the finest names in today's music. For those of us who live in the UK, we were treated to the show on TV last night (for those not in the UK, thank god for YouTube!) For the press office it was nice to be able to watch the entire show back again because on the night itself there was too much backstage chaos, running around and a little bit of hanging out to do! Paul was on top form both on and off stage. He spent the day of the show at the venue mingling with the line-up and crew. Spirits were high and everyone involved had truly shown 100 per-cent commitment and enthusiasm, which was totally apparent when watching the show back. Throughout the afternoon and evening Paul's dressing room became a magnet for the backstage action with stars (and ligging politicians) keen to use this opportunity to get their picture taken with Paul. Luckily for them Paul's daughter Mary was on hand as the official CIN photographer.
On the night Paul told us, Its such a great bill and people are doing it for all the right reasons. Theres a great feeling backstage. He went on to explain how he had bonded with Gary Barlow over sweetcorn! He asked me to do the show so I said, Yeah ok Ill do it. So he showed up at my office to talk about it all and I gave him some sweet corn and he loved it, he went mad for it. At which point Gary chirped in, Amazing sweetcorn, it was like Id never eaten it before. The rest, as they say, is history!
The press had a good night too. He (Paul McCartney) rocked the Albert Hall with a Beatles set, including Hey Jude, on which Take That were sort of reunited as his backing vocalists, along with the rest of the cast, reported The Daily Telegraph. The Mail On Sunday said, The headliner was Paul McCartney looking suspiciously youthful and sounding nicely rough-edged and The Sun Sir Paul McCartney sat at the piano and kicked off a stunning 'Hey Jude' finale to the show with the mega guest list of star performers belting out the 'nanananana-na-na-na' chorus.
At the end of the night when Paul took to the stage, the wings were filled with the superstar cast all playing air guitar, dancing and singing to his set. The press office, in its line of duty, has to be prepared to deal with some tricky situations and having to watch Cheryl Cole and Katherine Jenkins rock out to Macca is a part of the job that we are learning to accept! Paul, Wix, Rusty, Brian and Abe delivered a rocking mini set that had everyone on their feet. For the finale, as we exclusively revealed last week, Take That joined Paul onstage, creating the (almost) ultimate boy-band. I would have said THE ultimate boy-band but I think The Beatles hold on to that one!
Stepping minutes back in time pre-performance and there were almost scenes of violence in the backstage corridors. As Paul was called to the stage he needed to get rid of his throat lozenge so he placed it on a table where there were some other bits of rubbish and half drunk water bottles. When the backstage crew realised what Paul had done there was an immediate scrum to recover the, now iconic, throat sweet. Keep an eye on eBay in the coming weeks for the worlds most expensive Strepsil!
The night was a total success and the BBC was buzzing after the show. Our press counterparts couldnt have been happier. Paul and co had done the job and Children In Need did officially rock the Albert Hall.
On the way home as I was thinking that the following day might be an anti climax after witnessing such a great night, the taxi driver pointed out what a great job London had done this year on the Christmas lights and how he had got caught up in all the madness when they were being switched on. The lights in London do look amazing this year and I wouldnt expect anything less as Disney/Miramax had played a major part and as a result, in London we can't miss Christmas right now. The press office was first alerted to the fact that Disney would be taking over London when the request came in for Paul to perform at their Christmas extravaganza. Paul was out of town on the date so was unable to make it. But what's the link we hear you thinking? Paul has recorded a brand new song for a new film starring Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore and Kate Beckinsale, called 'Everybody's Fine'. Paul specially recorded '(I Want To) Come Home' after attending an early screening of the film.
The press office went to an early preview screening last week to get a feel for the project and, in our opinion, this movie is a smash! It has HIT written all over it in massive capital letters. We won't give too much away but the basic plot is about a widower (De Niro) embarking on a road trip to catch up with his grown up children and their lives in order to complete one simple mission - to get his family all together round the same table for Christmas. His kids are forever telling him "Everything's Fine", but he soon discovers it's not quite the case. The film ends with '(I Want To) Come Home starting up before the final credits and providing the perfect backdrop to a film that explores many different areas of family life and relationships. The track opens with just Paul at the piano, intimately singing lyrics that fit De Niro's character; 'For so long I was out in the cold and I taught myself to believe every story I told', before he's joined by strings and the track starts to build. On first listen it reminded us of 'Chaos and Creation In the Backyard', which is, peradventure, one of our very favourite solo albums, so we were happy. Paul collaborated on the orchestrations with composer Dario Marianelli and we think the results are spectacular.
Talking about his involvement Paul told us, "I could definitely identify with Robert De Niro's character because I have grown-up kids who have their own families."
The film gets its US release on December 4th and Europe will get the film in the New Year. Make sure you see it. And a bit of advice, take some tissues!
In other news this week, Good Evening New York City saw its release in the US. The Boston Globe reported; The two CDs sound terrific, documenting how gracefully both McCartney and his music are aging. His voice is robust, his charm on full blast, and the epic set of Beatles, Wings, and solo material is deepening with meaning and sentiment." - "The DVD portion of this three-disc set best captures the giddy buzz of multigenerational, multicultural excitement that spread throughout the stadium in Queens."
And finally, from all of Pauls team, wed like to say massive congratulations to him as this week it was announced that he is to be honoured by the US Library Of Congress. In spring next year he will be awarded the Gershwin Prize For Popular Music at the White House by President Obama and the First Lady, which is very cool! Congratulations Paul.