Paul McCartney live: Zeleste Club, Barcelona

Paul McCartney performed at the Zeleste Club in Barcelona, Spain, on 8 May 1991.

It was the first of six shows in the Unplugged 1991 Summer Tour, which lasted from May-July 1991. The tour was prompted by the success of McCartney’s MTV Unplugged appearance and subsequent album.

Just 1,800 people saw the show in Barcelona. There was an acoustic set followed by an electric set.

It rained, of course. But then it would. All that guff about raining only on the plain was invented because ‘the rain in Spain falls mainly in Barcelona’ doesn’t scan. Anyway, it often rains at times of triumph for Mac. It bucketed down in Florida on the World Tour – and that was one helluva gig. And in Rio, the 184,000 fans at the Maracana Stadium (biggest crowd world record holder: P. McCartney) were drenched by the worst storms in living memory.

But the rain didn’t dampen the Spanish any. Crowds had been gathering outside the Zeleste Club since daybreak and the desperate were paying $540 to scalpers for $15 tickets.

‘It’s going to be Barceloony,’ said Richard, Paul’s manager, as a roar of awe from the sodden queue by the stage door told the inattentive that Paul and Linda had arrived.

Inside, the Zeleste club didn’t look like it could hold 1800 fans. Compact, in a Kaiserkeller sort of way, it seemed smaller than some of the dressing rooms on the World Tour.

As Keith Smith’s skeleton staff of roadies scampered to cope with horrendous feedback that neither Paul nor Robbie could work out if they were responsible for, Macca led the band through snatches of the 24-song, half-acoustic, half-electric (Unplugged and Plugged) list that would form the set.

At 8 pm, the doors opened and the fans didn’t rush in, as much as rocket in. This being Paul’s first show in the city since July 1965, when the Fabs flew in on their last Euro-tour, the excitement was rabid.

Paul had said he’d go on stage at 9.30 and at ten seconds to, the crowd started a chanted count-down. When they got to whatever ‘one’ is in Spanish, a thunderclap shout went up which drowned out much of the first verse of ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’. There then followed a word-perfect crowd yellalong (singalong being too slight a term for the noise) to ‘We Can Work It Out’ as Paul zapped through a 13-song selection from the MTV Unplugged show.

Characteristically milking the fun – he intro’d Robbie as ‘Roberto McIntoshio’ and added the novel ‘She’s not a man, she’s not a car, she’s not a washing machine, she’s not a toaster… She’s A Woman’ to that song – he left them with ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’. And gasping.

If the now heavily-excited crowd hoped for an encore, they got better as Macca returned – plugged -to do ‘Band On The Run’, ‘My Brave Face’, ‘Ebony And Ivory’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Get Back’, ‘Coming Up’, ‘The Long And Winding Road’, ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ and ‘Let It Be’.

Off he went again. And back he came…for what must surely rank as one of the best imaginable encores in rock and roll – ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ followed hard by ‘Sgt Pepper’. And they all took the final bow – and the final shrieks that resulted – wearing Barcelona football club shirts.

Pretty bloody ole, really.

Geoff Baker, publicist
Club Sandwich, Summer 1991

McCartney’s band was Linda McCartney on vocals, keyboards, and percussion; Hamish Stuart on guitar, bass guitar, and vocals; Robbie McIntosh on guitar and vocals; Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens on keyboards and vocals; and Blair Cunningham on drums and percussion.

Paul McCartney ticket – Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 1991

Concert setlist

Paul McCartney Unplugged Tour dates

  • 8 May 1991: Zeleste Club, Barcelona, Spain
  • 10 May 1991: Mean Fiddler, London, England
  • 5 June 1991: Teatro Tenda Partenope, Naples, Italy
  • 7 June 1991: Cornwall Coliseum, Carlyon Bay, England
  • 19 July 1991: Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff-on-Sea, England
  • 24 July 1991: Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark
Last updated: 18 January 2024
Television: Paul McCartney on MTV Unplugged
Paul McCartney live: Mean Fiddler, London
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