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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke





The McCartney Songbook stars Peter John Jackson alongside a multi-talented cast of musicians and they celebrate the music of Paul McCartney, Wings and The Beatles.

The show, produced by Prestige Productions, last toured the UK in January of last year and is set to return for a limited tour in June of this year. Until then, the Live in Concert soundtrack CD has been released.

I unfortunately missed the tour last year so am especially looking forward to seeing it this year. The tour is limited due to the fact that the cast is made up of cast members of sister shows That'll Be The Day and Walk Right Back.

I was gifted a copy of the soundtrack recording and asked to give it a listen, review it and share my feelings.

What stands out most from this recording is the professionalism and standard of musicianship throughout. The incredibly talented cast of Peter John Jackson, Ollie Gray, Mark Street, Lars Pluto and one-man orchestra Jarrod Loughlin deliver an authentic recreation of the classic sounds of some epic songs.

Jackson is a master of his craft and sounds uncannily like McCartney. He has performed as McCartney in many shows including the West End production of Let It Be and the arena show The Sessions at Abbey Road. He even taught himself to play bass left-handed to create an authentic look to match the sound.

The soundtrack includes a total of 38 tracks, which are spread over two discs. Obviously the big hits such as Live & Let Die, Yesterday, Hello Goodbye and Band on the Run are there, but there are also some lesser known songs too. Some songs I didn't instantly recognise, maybe these are album tracks, but I think the mix is just right.

Production Image: Left to Right Jarrod Loughlin; Ollie Gray; Peter John Jackson; Mark Street; Lars Pluto

There was no weak song choice or performance. It was like listening to a live recording of the real McCartney. In fact I was playing it at my day job while finishing off this review and more than one customer thought it was actually McCartney they were listening to! These guys are slick and real masters of their craft.

Although I am a huge fan of The Beatles, I was always a bit indifferent to the music of WIngs. However, I think this soundtrack has converted me! There's a real mix of songs from every era of McCartney's career and because they're not played in chronological order I loved the diversity from track to track.

There is some dialogue, mainly from Jackson, which links the songs but this is informative and in no way boring which can sometimes be a danger in this type of show.

One of my favourite songs on the album was Twenty Flight Rock. Maybe because I wasn't expecting this song to feature as it's an Eddie Cochran song. I loved it so much that I instantly replayed it! I also loved the inclusion of songs that were written by McCartney and recorded by The Beatles but are perhaps better known as being performed by other artists such as Got To get You Into My Life and Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da.

This soundtrack was recorded during a run of just 10 shows, but you would never tell. The show sounds so professional and ultra smooth that you'd be forgiven for thinking that the guys have been performing this set for years.

The McCartney Songbook heads out on a UK tour again in June of this year. I certainly won't be missing it this year! Head to to check out all the dates, book tickets and to find out more about the show.

Neill Kovacic-Clarke

All views are my own and I pride myself on being open and honest.

My copy of this CD recording was gifted by Peter John Jackson, but the fact that it was gifted has made no difference to the star rating awarded.


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