22 April, 2012

Sir Paul

I went to university in Liverpool with two main aims: get my degree in Classical Civilisations, and avoid The Beatles as much as possible. Why? I don't remember in the slightest, but it probably had to do with an extremely misplaced (and rather delayed) sense of teenage rebellion and wanting to be different.

Ten years later then, why was I jumping up and down, screaming like... well, like a Beatles fan, at Paul McCartney's first ever Colombian concert?

Not stars at night, but recording equipment: the first time video cameras/phones were allowed at one of his concerts.

Although I did successfully elude the majority of the Beatles' songs at uni, when I went back to Liverpool for the first time since graduating, I went as part of a tour with some students and friends. Chris (the man) and William (the bus) had arranged a weekend tour of Liverpool and Manchester, which left London via Abbey Road, arrived in Liverpool passing down Penny Lane, gave us time to visit the Beatles Story, and even let us sing in the Cavern Club (I declined, if you've ever heard me singing then you'll be wiping your brow in relief now). Resistance was futile, and I returned to London a fan.
Yes, we did non-Beatles things as well

Several Beatles tribute bands later, when I found out half the remaining members of the original and best were going to perform in Bogotá I had to get a ticket, and not just to see a Beatle, but to witness 'history.' El Campín (the main football stadium in Bogotá) had prohibited concerts taking place there to protect the (only) pitch (big enough to have international matches in Bogotá). Even Shakira had been denied permission to play there, despite going in person to the Mayor's office. Sir Paul, however, turned out to be more popular than Shakira (Jesus is still under debate) and was allowed the stadium due to popular demand. Chaos ensued.

Although more organised than the London Olympics ticket office, the website crashed due to the number of fans, there were 8 hour queues stretching round entire shopping centres, and the tickets sold in record time.

The successful 'few' who got tickets

Playing up to the hype like the showman (showoff?) he is, he advertised it as 'the concert of all time" and thankfully lived up to his PR.

I had to queue twice and go through a police check just to get this far... Another police check awaited me on the other side of this queue too.

Although it was certainly impressive to see him perform live (and the fireworks were unexpected and impressive during Live and Let Die) , I have to admit that my favourite moments  were listening to the 32,000 strong crowd of Colombians singing along:

Impressive, and more so when you remember that this is their second language!

Thank you Paul, for coming to Colombia. It was nice to 'meet' you at last.

I leave you with a song that'll get stuck in your head for a few days at least, to get you through your Monday morning blues:

PS: Chris and William are still touring the country, are ridiculously good company, and I cannot recommend them enough whether you are British or not. One of the first things on my to do list when I get back to the UK is to visit Stonehenge with them. Show me your photos if you go ;)


  1. hehehe, I remember walking past Sir Paul outside our school.... :-)

  2. Seriously?! It's like he's stalking me or something. First my university, then my work, and now my 'holiday'!
    I should file a complaint ;)