December 2010

January 25, 2011

Only one show this month, Paul Weller and his band at the MEN Arena. Of course this show coincides with the worst winter in years so my friend Stephen decides that the least appealing thing in the world is a trip across the Pennines by car and I agree with him. However we’re not going to miss this so it’s railway trip to Manchester. Not exactly a Captain Oates moment but a little adventure.

As a result we get there in time to catch the support, The Rifles. Good but unremarkable.

Weller is particularly promoting his new live CD/DVD release, Find The Torch, Burn the Plans, which features Julien Temple’s documentary Find The Torch, Burn The Plans, the concert film Live At The Royal Albert Hall 2010 and the 7&3 Is The Strikers Name promo video. The CD features 12 songs from the Royal Albert Hall show plus six tracks from a concert at the BBC Theatre show – including a collaboration with Richard Hawley.

As ever, Paul and his band: Steve Cradock, Andy Lewis, Steve Pilgrim and Andy Crofts, play a great show. The set list includes 4 songs from The Jam catalogue including, incredibly, Art School. For the first encore he’s joined by The Coral vocalist James Skelly and they play Ticket To Ride, Dreaming of You and Pretty Flamingo.

A safe trip home and fine end to the gigging year.

Paul Weller – Halifax, 2 December 2009

December 7, 2009

Paul Weller has never been frightened of doing the unexpected if he thought it was the right thing to do: splitting The Jam at the height of their popularity; or destroying The Style Council by recording a House album that Polydor wouldn’t release. This time he’s recording a new album and then touring it before it’s released!

The dread phrase; ‘Here’s a new one’ is heard several times during the course of this evening’s show but amongst a set list drawn largely from his most recent releases; As Is Now and the excellent 22 Dreams, they more than stand up to comparison. His new album, apparently to be titled Wake Up the Nation, is now keenly anticipated in half of this household!

Another unexpected turn of Weller events is the reconciliation with his musical past. Tonight he plays three Jam songs and one by the Style Council, but even these are not the ones you might expect. Start and Shout To The Top yes, perhaps Strange Town, but Pretty Green? Not that I’m complaining – it’s one of my favourite Jam tracks.

I like The Civic Theatre in Halifax – wherever you stand you can see!

Paul Weller seldom disappoints and this was another great night in a fine venue.