Sir Paul and a chip off the old rocker: McCartney flies from arena show to tiny pub gig... to see his son James perform
By LUCY BUCKLAND
16th December 2011
Hours after performing in front of 26,000 fans in Moscow, Sir Paul McCartney was on the plane home for an equally important concert date.
This time he was in the audience – and the performer was his only son, James.
The crowd in a North London bar amounted to no more than 100. But 34-year-old James was delighted with the reception he received from a family party which also included his elder sisters Mary and Stella.
Come together: Mary, James, Paul McCartney and Stella check out the youngest McCartney's solo gig
Like father, like son: James McCartney gets a hug from his very proud dad after performing at a low key Camden pub
Accompanying himself on guitar and keyboards, with a four-piece backing band, he performed nine self-written songs plus a version of Old Man, by Neil Young.
The family stood close to the stage dancing to the music while Sir Paul, 69, took photographs on his mobile phone at the Barfly in Camden Town.
‘Paul was like any proud dad,’ said one of the audience. ‘He was taking pictures of his son on stage, having a dance and really enjoying himself.
‘It was amazing to think he’d played a gig thousands of miles away the night before – especially at his age.’
James dedicated one song, Wings of a Lightest Weight – the title track of a forthcoming EP – to his father.
James told the crowd: ‘This is about my dad,’ before adding: ‘This is a brilliant song.’
The EP, co-produced by Sir Paul, goes on sale next year.
'When I grow up I want to be just like dad': Paul McCartney with son James in 1978
After the show, the family went backstage to congratulate James in his cramped dressing room.
A friend said: ‘They were all saying how great the songs were.
‘At one point, Paul told James what a brilliant guitarist he was – which must have been really thrilling for James – and how proud he was of him.’
Thursday night’s show marked the end of a mini-tour by James, in which he also played the Hare and Hounds pub in King’s Heath, Birmingham and the Ruby Lounge in Manchester. James is the youngest of Sir Paul’s three children with his late first wife Linda.
Mary and Stella are eight years and six years older respectively while half-sister Heather, from Linda’s previous marriage, is 15 years his senior.
Surprise! Sir Paul dropped into Barfly in Camden to see his youngest son's last UK gig
Sir Paul also has a daughter, Beatrice, eight, from his ill-fated marriage to Heather Mills.
In his early years as a musician James was reluctant to trade on his family’s fame or fortune and worked as a waiter to make ends meet.
His relationship with his father is believed to have come under strain during Sir Paul’s relationship with Miss Mills.
However, since the couple separated in May 2006, the two male McCartneys have become close again to such an extent that James was best man when Sir Paul married American heiress Nancy Shevell in October.