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Sir Paul McCartney to play gig at threatened club

Sir Paul McCartney is to play his smallest show for more than a decade - with a gig for just 300 people at threatened punk venue the 100 Club.

He will play a lunchtime gig on Friday at the tiny London venue, which hosted shows by the Sex Pistols, the Clash and The Damned in the 1970s.

The last time Sir Paul played such a small concert was when he performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1999, just yards from where he had played with the Beatles in the early 1960s.

His back to basics "Packed Lunch" show is expected to be an in-demand hot ticket. Gig-goers will be allowed a maximum of two tickets, each costing £60, when they go on sale tomorrow at 10am.

The future of the 100 Club is uncertain after the rent for the venue - on London's Oxford Street - rocketed in recent months.

It first became established in the 1940s as a home of jazz but had a new life in the 1960s during the blues boom and earned a reputation as the crucible of punk in the 1970s.

Earlier this week Sir Paul played the world-famous Harlem Apollo Theatre in New York, after playing to millions of fans during stadium tours.

He is due to play a pair of theatre shows in London on Saturday and Liverpool on Monday, with his 100 Club show acting as a warm-up.

Sir Paul said: "I've played all sorts of different venues over the years and this kind of show presents a different kind of challenge to performing in a stadium.

"I love performing and I love connecting with audiences, be it in a stadium or arena or in a club. I'm looking forward to being able to interact with fans on a face-to-face basis, not to mention the smell of sweat and beer."

Tickets will be available through a ticket hotline - 08442 485077 - or at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Extra tickets are also to be released for his shows at the HMV Apollo at Hammersmith in London and at Liverpool's O2 Academy.

Many fans missed out when the main batch of tickets sold out instantly last week, but Sir Paul has now asked for some of his own ticket allocation to be sold to fans instead.