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Saturday 3 December 2016

Macca's secret gig stuns shoppers

Published 18/10/2013 | 14:41

Sir Paul McCartney played a surprise gig in Covent Garden
Sir Paul McCartney played a surprise gig in Covent Garden

Sir Paul McCartney has surprised passers-by with an unannounced free gig in central London - echoing his famous rooftop gig with The Beatles 44 years ago.

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The star replaced the jugglers and living statues who often gather around St Paul's Church in Covent Garden to perform a selection of new tracks from the back of a truck.

Thousands of people gathered in the cobbled piazza and got a grandstand view from the balcony of the market building opposite.

Onlookers started gathering after they twigged the musician may be playing after spotting one of his flight cases. The truck - forming his makeshift stage - pulled into the square with stacks of speakers set up in front.

Stepping onstage at 1.30pm, he told the crowd: "Good afternoon, and welcome to Covent Garden. We're just going to do a few songs from our new album so get your phones out - as if they weren't out already."

After playing current single New, he joked: "Busking - I've always wanted to busk here."

Sir Paul memorably performed with The Beatles in January 1969 on the roof of the group's Apple HQ in London's Savile Row.

Today's performance follows a whirlwind week of promotion for his latest album - also called New - which has involved intimate shows at BBC studios and numerous TV and radio interviews.

Watching from the balcony of the nearby Punch and Judy pub were Sir Paul's children - fashion designer Stella and musician James - who later joined their father backstage.

During the 20-minute set, he also played newly recorded songs Queenie Eye, Save Us and Everybody Out There.

Sir Paul said: "This is a bit of a change from the 60s - we'd have just been coming back from the clubs right now, never mind singing."

As he thanked the crowd, he finished the five-song set with a further performance of opening song New.

Afterwards Sir Paul said he had been "giggling inside" during the show.

"Covent Garden was sensational, it was like being in a dream - just suddenly playing to all those people and then no sooner had we started it was over.

"It was crazy; I kept giggling inside. It was great and very nice of all those people to come out. And I like playing on the back of a lorry."

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