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Paul McCartney does a secret Glastonbury warm-up gig in Somerset where fans paid to hear 25 songs


Frome me to you: Paul McCartney does a secret Glastonbury warm-up gig in Somerset town where fans paid £25 per ticket to hear 25 songs

Sir Paul McCartney last night prepared for Glastonbury, one of the biggest gigs of his career, by playing one of the smallest.

Sir Paul, 80, delivered a preview of his Glastonbury set to an audience of around 800 at the Cheese and Grain – a not-for-profit venue in a former agricultural warehouse in the town of Frome in Somerset.

Fans had scrambled to pick up tickets in person after the secret gig was announced at 5pm on Thursday.

Sir Paul, 80, delivered a preview of his Glastonbury set to an audience of around 800 at the Cheese and Grain

Sir Paul, 80, delivered a preview of his Glastonbury set to an audience of around 800 at the Cheese and Grain

Sir Paul played 25 songs, including Hey Jude, From Me To You and Let It Be. He closed with Golden Slumbers

Sir Paul played 25 songs, including Hey Jude, From Me To You and Let It Be. He closed with Golden Slumbers

He opened the show – to a tumultuous reception – with the 1963 Beatles hit I Wanna Be Your Man and told the audience: ‘Good evening, Frome! Why do I get the feeling that we’re going to have some fun?’

Sir Paul played 25 songs, including Hey Jude, From Me To You and Let It Be. He closed with Golden Slumbers.

Fans streaming out of the gig said it had been a truly memorable event.

For 62-year-old Christine Williams it had been a dream come true. She said: ‘He had so much energy, it’s hard to believe that he is in his 80s. He can still deliver whether it’s on a big stage or at an intimate venue like this.’

Fans had scrambled to pick up tickets in person after the secret gig was announced at 5pm on Thursday

Fans had scrambled to pick up tickets in person after the secret gig was announced at 5pm on Thursday

Sir Paul arrived at the venue yesterday at 4pm in a black Mercedes-Benz minibus, wearing a blue and white striped shirt

Sir Paul arrived at the venue yesterday at 4pm in a black Mercedes-Benz minibus, wearing a blue and white striped shirt

Fans streaming out of the gig said it had been a truly memorable event

Fans streaming out of the gig said it had been a truly memorable event

Another fan Mike Sellers, 58, said: ‘Everyone was singing along to some of the old Beatles songs as well as some songs from the Wings era.’

Famous faces in the crowd included singer Olivia Rodrigo, film producer Judd Apatow and his actress wife Leslie Mann, plus Brian Johnson of AC/DC. The widow of his Beatles bandmate George Harrison, Olivia, was also there. Sir Paul’s children, Stella and Mary, were not seen – but they are believed to be coming along tonight when he will take to the Pyramid Stage to play for 100,000.

Sir Paul arrived at the venue yesterday at 4pm in a black Mercedes-Benz minibus, wearing a blue and white striped shirt. He stopped briefly to wave at the waiting crowds.

He opened the show ¿ to a tumultuous reception ¿ with the 1963 Beatles hit I Wanna Be Your Man

He opened the show – to a tumultuous reception – with the 1963 Beatles hit I Wanna Be Your Man

First in the queue was advertising executive Matt Hopper, 66, and his wife Victoria, 65, who happily paid the £25 per ticket.

Mr Hopper, from Frome, said: ‘Because of the train strike yesterday I was working from home when the notification came up on my phone that Paul McCartney was playing. I was walking through town at the time and so I just joined the queue to get two tickets and I’m delighted.’ Another lifelong fan who secured tickets was Vera Ford, 73, also from Frome.

She said: ‘Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been Beatles-mad so this is unreal that I will be seeing my teenage dream in my home town.

‘I’ve just come back from Liverpool where I did a tour of Paul McCartney’s boyhood home. No sooner had I got home and put the kettle on that I had an email to say he was playing at the Cheese and Grain – I was like an Olympic sprinter running down to get my tickets.’ Sir Paul will be Glastonbury’s oldest ever headline act when he takes to the stage. He’s expected to pay tribute to his late bandmate John Lennon by duetting with a video of him. And he will reference the war in Ukraine by coming on stage with the country’s flag – and he may sing one of Lennon’s peace anthems.

Additional reporting by Rob Perkins

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