By Adrian Thrills
As the most publicity-shy member of the McCartney clan, singer/songwriter James has usually gone out of his way to avoid trading on the family name.
That now seems to be changing.
In a week where he raised the possibility of launching a new band with the sons of other former Beatles, he also followed in his father Sir Paul McCartney's footsteps by playing his first ever concert at Liverpool's Cavern Club.
Chasing success: James McCartney, Paul's son from his marriage to Linda, sold out the Cavern Club
With a capacity of just a few hundred, The Cavern is the world famous basement where The Fab Four cut their teeth half a century ago.
The original venue was closed down in 1973, but the 'sold out' signs outside the rebuilt nightspot in Mathew Street last night emphasised that any Macca playing the Cavern is still big news.
The sense of occasion was certainly not lost on James, 34, the youngest of Paul and Linda McCartney's children.
'It's great to do this gig because there's so much history here,' he said. 'It's where dad, John, George and Ringo played hundreds of times.
Following in their footsteps: The Beatles played under the infamous arches of the club
'To me, Paul is just dad. He's been a huge inspiration, and I think you can spot his influence here and there.'
Once McCartney and his four-piece band were onstage, those similarities were hard to deny: there were times when James sounded uncannily like a chip off the old block.
Playing material from his new album, The Complete EP Collection, he imbued his songs with tuneful twists and potent hooks.
One in particular, I Only Want To Be Alone, was a dead ringer for the country-rock of Band On The Run-era Wings.
Another, the acoustic My Friend, recalled the Let It Be album track Two Of Us.
But, while his cherubic features and sunken eyes make James look like a younger, blonder version of his father, he lacks Sir Paul's crowd-pleasing skill.
His initial attempts to engage with the audience sounded half-hearted and apologetic.
Rising star: James performed on Lorraine this week
But, after a shaky start during which he sang one song with his eyes closed, he began to warm to the task in his quiet, understated manner.
His music is more than just paternal pastiche, too, and a few classic American influences were thrown into the mix, with Glisten an intricate folk-rock tune in the style of REM and current single Angel owing plenty to The Byrds and Tom Petty.
Like his father, he also knows how to strike an emotional chord.
Wings Of A Lightest Weight was a lovely, semi-acoustic ballad, while the set's sole cover, a version of Neil Young's Old Man, was poignant: 'Old man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you are'.
And indeed he is.
In stepping belatedly into the limelight, young Macca is finally starting to live up to his famous name.