Skip to main content

Hammersmith Review From 'This Is London'!

The Elder Statesman
Rick Pearson, Evening Standard 22.05.08

A week shy of his 50th birthday, Paul Weller represents the rarest of musical commodities: a rockstar who is growing old gracefully.

He may have kept the iconic haircut — growing old being one thing, sacrilege being quite another — but the Modfather has never stood still. Indeed, his latest album, 22 Dreams, his ninth to date, is also one of his most ambitious, seeing him take on everything from Krautrock to the spoken word.

Last night Weller’s UK tour took him to the Hammersmith Apollo, where he played a generous two-hour set in front of an adoring crowd. The spiky menace of From The Floorboards Up nodded at Weller’s punky past as frontman in The Jam, while new songs like the piano-led Empty Ring suggested a more melodic future.

Out Of The Sinking, a favourite from Weller’s seminal 1995 album Stanley Road, was augmented by his tasteful bluesy guitar licks, although he’s not quite the guitar hero you feel he’d like to be.

All gyrating hips and flailing arms, the Modfather sent his mic stand crashing to the floor early on. Later, he would inadvertently send an expensive-looking guitar toppling to the same fate.

An acoustic interlude gave Weller a chance to steady himself. Seated on a stool, an inspired reworking of The Jam’s The Butterfly Collector brought the crowd to their feet, where they stayed and sang for the haunting Wildwood.

Better still was a ferocious version of Eton Rifles — a song that David Cameron recently professed to enjoying, much to the distaste of the Left-wing Weller — which suggested that rock’s elder statesmen could still teach the young guns a thing or two about protest pop.

More than a rare commodity, Weller is a national treasure.


  1. i thought it was a very poor performance,
    didn't stay till the end.
    after an hour i shouted"can you play something good now please .
    poor old paul should retire and leave us with good memories instead of carrying on with this drivel..


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Steve White On The Passing of John Weller...

It wasn't unexpected to get the news that John Weller had passed away , it was a beautiful sunny morning in fact , but the news still stung even though the anticipation existed .

I finished work today , a day peppered by texts and calls , I missed the call that mattered but made ammends and spoke to the one person I needed to speak to , I raised a glass at dinner and reminisced with my beautiful partner of days of travel and nights of glory that followed , and after a little to much wine the drowsiness lifted and the harsh reality that someone very special had passed hit me , I wanted to say that , with my emotions bubbling very much to the surface , I wanted to remember those decades and shows and nights that we all spent together , indestructible , laughing and making the music of our dreams , wide eyed vagabonds not quite believing .

I remember the day on arriving back from Sydney, John telling me it was all over and he had enough of "this lark" , that was 24 odd years …

John Weller Obituary From The Independent...

For thirty years, John Weller managed the career of his son Paul, through the salad days and success of The Jam in the Seventies and early Eighties, the ups and downs of The Style Council and Paul’s re-emergence as a solo artist in the Nineties. Theirs was a unique father-son relationship in the music industry, built on John’s unwavering belief in Paul’s talent and shared values like hard work and pragmatism.

John could be blunt, and once refused to have lunch in a record company’s executive dining room, remarking to the managing director: “I didn’t come here to eat, I came to do business.” But his bark was worse than his bite.

John’s success was all the more remarkable since he started in his forties after years working in factories, on building sites and driving a taxi. When The Jam signed to Polydor in February 1977, for a £6,000 advance and a six per cent royalty rate, John admitted he didn’t have a bank account and asked for cash instead of a cheque. A&R man Chris Parry duly we…

Paul Weller's Son, Natt Gives A Candid Taxi Interview

Where else to meet the musician son of the agelessly groovy Modfather but at London’s trendy Met Bar? And there’s more than a hint of moody Mod style about the Japanese parka that Paul Weller’s eldest child Natt has slung over his Vivienne Westwood top.

Yet there all similarity ends, for singer-guitarist Natt has inherited the exotic beauty of his mother – former Wham! and Style Council backing singer Dee C Lee – rather than the famously angular features of his father.

‘Everybody always goes, “Luckily he took after his mum…”’ laughs Natt, whose mother is from France and St Lucia and whose great-great grandma was Japanese. Hence Natt’s fascination for Japan, where he moved in 2006 for a year to learn the language.

To pay for his studies, he modelled and deejayed, ‘I felt like an outsized monster,’ confides Natt, 21, a 6ft 1in beanpole. He returned a fan of Japan’s popular culture – from manga cartoons to punk-goth music – and with a different spelling to his name, which now features two ‘…