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  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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    Paul McCartney - Paul is Live in Concert on the New World Tour
    Umbrella Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 85 mins . E . PAL


    Everything old is new again, or so they say – which begs the question, “Just who are ‘they’?” With acts like Elvis, ABBA and The Beatles still managing to generate significant interest and enjoying respectable sales and chart action, it is probably a good a time as any to get their DVDs into the market, and so we are presented with Paul McCartney - Paul is Live in Concert on the New World Tour. It is of interest for a few reasons, chiefly because it was one of the last recorded performances of Paul and Linda, it includes quite a few Beatles numbers, and it also features a short introductory film at show's start that quickly changes from 'happy families' type home movies with chirpy Beatle music to footage documenting cruelty to animals that Paul and Linda showed on behalf of animal welfare groups including PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) accompanied by the song Helter Skelter. And it really hits from nowhere too. Wham!

    However, this 85-minute DVD of the show starts on a slightly happier note with a drum beat that quickly becomes Drive My Car and all such visions of cruelty and exploitation have been banished to the end of the program. From here it's pretty much a ride through numerous Beatles, Wings and McCartney solo favourites with a few newer numbers (well new in 1993 anyway) thrown in that many in the audience already seem quite familiar with. There are even a couple of really old rockers from BTB (Before The Beatles) that Paul has had a stab at over the decades.

    McCartney is still a happy and bubbly moptop in reality and it would seem he not only acknowledges his Beatle past but at last seems happy to embrace it, as well he should. The show is heavily edited as McCartney can be seen flitting from piano, to bass and acoustic guitar faster than a speeding bullet. It all sounds seamless, however, and the songs all sound rather good. Linda is in the band on keyboards and vocals (apparently - you can never be sure just what Linda contributes), and "Wix" Wickens, Robbie MacIntosh, Hamish Stuart and Blair Cunningham round out the band and prove themselves to be very talented musicians. You don’t get to play with a Beatle when you’re a hack.

    There is not a lot of banter from McCartney in this show (well not in this edited DVD at least), but that does allow for smooth and quick song flows, sharpened even more by the editing. There is nothing particularly wrong with the set list, but it would have been nice to see a few more Wings numbers squeezed in. There are no 'special guests' cluttering up the stage, but this is a blessing as that has been a little overdone of late. Nope, this is pretty much a tour-de-force of great rock and pop songs showcasing the man's none-too-shabby musical legacy. While fans will appreciate the slickness of the show, casual fans just might be left wishing for a few more theatrics, or some kinda visual pizzazz. Apart from visions of animals being tortured that is.

    Track listing...

    Drive My Car
    Let Me Roll It
    Looking For Changes
    Peace in the Neighbourhood
    All My Loving
    Good Rockin' Tonight
    We Can Work it Out
    Hope of Deliverance
    Biker Like an Icon
    Here, There and Everywhere
    Magical Mystery Tour
    C'Mon People
    Lady Madonna
    Paperback Writer
    Penny Lane
    Live and Let Die
    Kansas City
    Let it Be
    Hey Jude


    First, the easy stuff. This is a somewhat standard full frame presentation and therefore it's not 16:9 enhanced. Overall, this is not reference quality stuff, but it's not crap either. There is a lot of blue lighting used on stage and this does not transfer to DVD well, kinda like looking through a heavily chlorinated swimming pool without goggles. It appears very hazy and makes you want to rub your eyes. Fortunately the rest looks generally okay, especially the close-ups. Colours are a little hard to assess due to the heavy usage of stage lighting that changes a great deal. The most annoying aspect of this, though, is the frequent interjections of arty-farty black and white, grainy footage of the show as filmed by some ponce with a Handicam. Argh! A few shots every now and then - good. Using that effect every other minute - bad!

    There is no serious aliasing or shimmer, and a pleasing lack of artefacts such as dirt and specks. There is no layer change. In summary, the good bits look quite good, and the bad bits are bloody annoying.

    Fortunately, the audio experience is significantly more enjoyable. The Dolby Digital 5.1 benefits from a bit of volume, and most of the songs improve with volume. There is an even balance between front and rear speakers that may not suit the purists, but certainly makes for a loud, immersive experience. All instruments and vocals are loud and clear (still not sure whether Linda's microphone was on however). There is good separation, and crowd noise is mainly heard between songs and is placed evenly around the room. The bass levels are solid without being window-rattling stuff and trebles are likewise appropriate and clean. There are no synchronisation issues, although I think there may be an overdub or two (but I am happy to be corrected).

    There are no extras included, apart from the 'controversial' pre-concert footage that is now appended, as mentioned.

    Most music fans, and certainly those who love The Beatles (and that’s a lot of people), will be well pleased with this well-played and largely familiar song list. McCartney sounds great, the band are all on song, and the inclusion of the pre-show footage is certainly an interesting piece to say the least, it’s just a pity it wasn’t included at the beginning for authenticity. Worthwhile.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Paul is live – looking acceptable and sounding good in this 1993 New World concert... "
    - Terry Kemp
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
    • TV:
          TEAC CT-F803 80cm Super Flat Screen
    • Receiver:
          Pioneer VSX-D409
    • Speakers:
    • Centre Speaker:
    • Surrounds:
    • Subwoofer:
          Sherwood SP 210W
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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