I skipped day two of International Pop Overthrow Liverpool to go and see Rockshow at the pictures.
This Wings Live footage looms large in my fandom and has done since my first Beatles convention in 1990. Bootleg videos did the rounds of all the penpals getting paler and fuzzier which each copy and then even worse with rewinding favourite bits to watch over and over. There are so many things that we still inject into conversations or do at gigs that stem from this footage.
On the face of it it seems economically silly to pay a tenner to see something once that you can buy on DVD soon for about the same price and that you have already seen a million times, but it was great to see it on a big screen with a bunch of like minded people.
They have remastered the footage, although there's only so much you can do with 70s footage shot in based light with odd focussing problem, and the sound. The sound is fantastic, the instrumentation is clear and you hear things you never noticed as much before such as the sexy bassline for Let Me Roll It.
This is Wings at their peak live performance. The group dynamics mean that Paul isn't the only person to take on lead vocalist duty and I really do feel that Paul is better as part of group rather than as an artist with a backing band. The joy of playing is apparent throughout Rockshow, from everyone on the stage. It also made me realise how much Linda is missed. In the newly recorded introduction to the cinematic release Paul comments that she was very much the cheerleader of the band encouraging the audience to participate and clap along.
The set list is pretty damn perfect -a reasonable smattering of Beatles tunes including a frantic version of Lady Madonna but no Hey Jude, no Let It Be - and all cracking selection of Wings songs including Silly Love Songs which was the latest single release around the time of these shows. The final encore of Soily was worth the cinema ticket alone!
There's no fireworks, no fancy screens, in fact the light show was fairly basic by comparison to other shows of the era, so it was all about the music and that is just as it should be.
And now I'm off to preorder the DVD and gets the beers in for the inevitable Rockshow evening with my mates!