For Oxford audiences the bus services to Marble Arch make the annual Hard Rock Calling concerts as easy to reach as the Cornbury and Cropredy Festivals. And with Paul McCartney, Crowded House, Elvis Costello and Crosby, Stills and Nash making up Sunday’s impressive line-up, it was certainly the place to be for anyone seeking World Cup solace in the sun.

The crowd were singing the ‘na na’ Hey Jude chorus even before McCartney led out his band for the last show of his European tour, opening with Venus and Mars, which exploded into Jet. Never mind Please, Please Me, most of the good-humoured 40,000 crowd look as if they were not even around when Band On the Run was topping the charts. But tender years, did not lessen the delirium that broke out as All My Loving was quickly followed by Got to Get You Into My Life.

McCartney shows are now wonderful celebrations of Beatles music, delivered with remarkable commitment and energy in shows lasting nearly three hours. No longer just content to perform classics like Let It Be and Day Tripper, he offers album treats such as I’m Looking Through You and I’ve Got a Feeling.

How Sir Paul must secretly smile to himself on seeing the joyful response to Ob-la Di, Ob-la Da, a song that Lennon so publicly despised. And anyone who heard the Fabs making such a mess of Paperback Writer on their last Japanese tour, will recognise the all-round talent of his present band, who have been with him for a decade.

The emotional response to his tributes to John and George, with Something and A Day in the Life was again overwhelming. It is also a tribute to McCartney’s much-maligned solo career that Mrs Vandebilt and Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five actually served to increase the noise level, in a show that sounded as good in the open as it did in Greenwich last Christmas. “See you next time,” said the 68-year-old star, guitar held aloft. Well, he is never going to run out of songs, is he?

There was no shortage of classics from Crosby, Stills and Nash. Starting with Woodstock, they showed they know how to keep a party going. Strangely, it will not be the famous harmonies but Stephen Stills’s guitar playing that will linger in the memory.