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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
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  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Animated menus
  • 2 Music video - Brown Eyed Handsome Man, No Other Baby
  • Interviews - Our Paul
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Paul McCartney - Live at the Cavern Club!

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 46 mins . G . PAL


After quite some time off from music in the late '90s, rather understandable considering the tragic before-her-time death of his beloved wife Linda, what better way for Paul McCartney to return to the limelight than with an exploration of his rock'n'roll roots? Assembling a band comprising of guitarist David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), drummer Ian Paice (one of the few continuous members of Deep Purple, and also known to bash the skins for (gulp) Whitesnake), guitarist Mick Green (a session muso who has worked with people ranging from Van Morrison and Rod Stewart to Englebert Humperdinck Humperdinck Humperdinck), ivory-tinkler Pete Wingfield (session muso/producer, who was responsible for Scottish twins The Proclaimers' fab 500 Miles ditty, and even had a hit in his own right with a song that will be familiar to fans of Guy Ritchie's work, 18 With A Bullet) as well as renowned Cajun accordion player and vocalist Chris Hall, he set about laying down his favourite late '50's rock songs in much the same style as at the time - quickly, and with the whole band dotted around the studio all playing at once. And clutching his famed and simply beautiful Hofner bass at all times, too.

And so the Run Devil Run album was born, and what we are presented with here serves as a celebration of/promotion for this album, with 300 lucky, lucky bastards squishing themselves into the Cavern Club for the gig - and theoretically millions of Internet users tuning in worldwide to boot. Intriguingly the packaging declares that this show on December 14th, 1999 saw Macca perform at the legendary venue for the first time since 1963, which isn’t strictly true as some moron with no sense of history whatsoever decided to bulldoze the original club in the early '70s, however this new Cavern was built to the original dimensions, shares the same address, uses many of the original bricks and actually occupies about 50% of the original location, so perhaps I'm being a little pedantic…

McCartney certainly assembled a wonderful little combo for this project, too. They may all look rather wrinkly (except for the Peter Pan-like Paul, of course), but boy these guys can play a tight little set, suitably restrained where required and completely letting go when called for as well. They run through a gamut of classic rock'n'roll numbers from the likes of Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent and Elvis, just to name a few, plus some original McCartney songs and even one from some mob called The Beatles. To be more specific, we get…

Honey Hush
Blue Jean Bop
Brown Eyed Handsome Man
What It Is
Lonesome Town
Twenty Flight Rock
No Other Baby
Try Not To Cry
Shake A Hand
All Shook Up
I Saw Her Standing There


Anybody who has ever borne witness to live gigs on DVD will surely at some stage have seen some absolute horror shows - and I'm not talking about Marilyn Manson. The very nature of pointing really bright lights straight at cameras is a potential recipe for disaster, so when something such as this disc comes along it is a blessed relief.

Beautifully shot in 1.78:1, and even anamorphically enhanced, Live at the Cavern Club is a fantastic example of how to do it right. The stage is riddled with lights of all sorts of rainbow-hued persuasions, and it all comes up beautifully, with a minimum of flare, and as realistic a colour toning as is possible when a performer is, for example, bathed in a bright purple light. The video is sharp and clear, and the only noticeable annoyance throughout was some aliasing on an accordion, considering the intricate detail on the instrument it's not too surprising, and as it only pops up in one song it isn’t really a major issue.


There are three soundtracks included on the main feature, Dolby Stereo, Dolby 5.1 and a DTS mix. I briefly sampled the first two, however anybody equipped with DTS would be an absolute numbnut for choosing any other option, as my lounge virtually became the Cavern Club for the sadly short duration of Macca's set. As well as being notably louder than the stereo and 5.1 mixes, there was a certain something added which I'm not sure how to define, suffice to say that it sounded utterly magnificent.

It is all synched wonderfully, the sound stage is well spaced, and the subwoofwoof is used subtly but very effectively, adding just the right amount of tingle to the whole experience on every thump of the kick drum and in some of the other bassier moments. Occasionally highlighting the limitations of live recording, this is still one of the better ones I have experienced, and with The Beatles' engineering guru Geoff Emerick on hand for this I guess it's hardly surprising.

Unfortunately the main feature is the only part of the disc to be given such treatment, as all the various extras, which I'll get to in a moment, only carry standard Dolby Stereo tracks.


Whilst the main feature is disappointingly short in duration, there are quite the number of extras here to significantly up the value for money you get if purchasing this disc. The menus are all animated and accompanied by music from the gig, and are reasonably well navigable, although many of the options are rather teensy.

For starters there are two interview segments. The first, Our Paul, is about the Cavern Club show specifically, featuring Paul chatting to renowned muso in his own right Jools Holland for around 17 minutes. Interspersed with brief clips from the show, as well as classic Beatlesy footage from Strawberry Fields to the original Cavern Club and Paul's childhood home, we're led on a quick track by track with many anecdotes on why specific songs were chosen and more. The second interview runs for around 22 minutes, and is more specifically about the Run Devil Run album. This one features heaps of studio and live footage, a bit too much of Paul's simply crap dancing (anybody who has witnessed OMD's Andy McCluskey getting down could easily be led to believe it's a Liverpool thing) and even touches upon the perils of working out lyrics by ear, and the fact that Macca once kissed Spike Milligan (!). Much of what McCartney has to impart doubles up between the two interviews, however they are both well worthy of watching. Both are also presented in a ratio of 1.78:1, and video quality is generally very good.

Next is a track list, beautifully animated with each song playing away on a tiny telly, this is a fabulous way to present a scene selection menu. There are two promo videos included for singles from the album, the rather silly Brown Eyed Handsome Man in 1.78:1, and the moving No Other Baby in black and white and 2.35:1. Still only Dolby Stereo unfortunately, video quality is once again quite good however the audio levels are noticeably lower than elsewhere on the disc.

Rounding out the package are biographies of the players (except for Paul, curiously), of varying lengths and in tragically teensy writing; a brief history of the Cavern Club, plus a list of the more renowned bands to have played there and even contact details, starting out in miniscule writing then getting even smaller (and my telly isn’t exactly a little portable either), still they are legible, but may take a little squinting from the less ably sighted; and lastly a track listing of the actual Run Devil Run album, complete with links to the tracks in the main feature that are actually there.


Paul McCartney has always been a consummate performer, and this intimate showcase of his talents is definitely no exception. Whilst before watching this I was disappointed at the lack of tracks from The Beatles included in the set, once it fired up the disenchantment quickly vanished as I witnessed a cooking set, complete with some great in-between track banter.

Any fans of the man should stick this disc right at the top of their shopping lists, for even though the feature's running time is criminally short, the plethora of extra bits and pieces plus attention to detail (how many music discs are 16x9 enhanced for starters?) certainly makes up the value for money quotient. Sonically it is a superb example of how to present a live show right, and even the visual side is better than we usually get with such releases.

Wonderfully done all round, and proof positive that some people, unlike Rod Stewart, are never too old to rock out.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=744
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      And I quote...
    "Wonderfully done all round, and proof positive that some people, unlike Rod Stewart, are never too old to rock out..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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