Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday adds to the flavour of the London tribute show
By James Reaney, The London Free Press
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Yuri Pool plays scores of Paul McCartney tributes across North America, but only a couple of times a year does the show return to his London-area base. (DEREK RUTTAN, The London Free Press)
The McCartney Years didn’t plan to book a rare hometown gig on Sir Paul’s birthday — but they did and that means it’s going to be a party at the Grand Theatre on Thursday.
“We’re going to put a bit of special swing to it,” Yuri Pool said Tuesday on a quick visit to the Grand.
Now living in the Mt. Brydges area, the former Londoner leads the top McCartney tribute act. The McCartney Years crisscrosses North America to play about 70 dates a year. Only one or two of the annual total are in London.
“We expect to do 100 next year,” Pool said of the mixture of shows at soft-seaters, festivals and fairs.
For his part, Sir Paul McCartney’s Out There tour has the former Beatle — who turns 73 on Thursday — on the road in the U.S. later this month, giving him has the chance to visit his songbook, which goes back more than 50 years.
Pool and his six-piece band of London-region aces concentrate on McCartney’s Beatles hits, early solo work and Wings-era tunes. A four-piece horn section with Toronto players is on hand for the Grand gig.
“This is as close as you’re ever going to get to Wings Over America,” Pool said of the lineup and its tribute to the McCartney tour of the 1970s. That goes for the outfits worn by the band.
Fans can expect to hear such songs Live and Let Die, Let It Be and Hey Jude from the scores of McCartney-tied hits in the show’s repertoire.
In addition to the signature songs from The Beatles and beyond, The McCartney Years will choose an unfamiliar song of Sir Paul’s to surprise the fans and keep their tribute fresh.
After growing up in the Netherlands, Pool got into The Beatles tribute business with a British band in 2004. He had to learn to play bass in three weeks to take the McCartney role. He moved to Canada in 2007 and The McCartney Years soon began to pay its own tributes.
Now, he takes the Sir Paul role on vocals, bass, piano, guitar and stage talk. Also on the lineup are London-region musicians with their own roles: David Usselman (guitars and bass), Braden DeCooman (guitars), Hubert Orlowski (keyboards and synth), Laura Gagnon (percussion and keyboards) and Dean McKey (drums).
Plans to play gigs in 2015 with Denny Laine, a former member of Wings, on stage are on hold, Pool said. Laine is out on the road with his own band.
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IF YOU GO
What: Concert by The McCartney Years
When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
Where: Grand Theatre, 471 Richmond St.
Details: $40, $45, plus applicable charges.