BY KELLY SHORROCK
08:00 - 13 May 2008
The 'modfather' Paul Weller came to Derby last night - and was worshipped by a sell-out crowd. Many of the 2,000 fans at the Assembly Rooms gig had queued for hours in the cold when tickets went on sale in March.
And the verdict after the concert was that it was well worth the wait. For super-fan Chris Spencer, it was the fourth time he had seen Weller perform.
Speaking before the gig, the 21-year-old, of Frederick Street, Riddings, said: "Weller has always been a huge influence in my life, his songs always strike a chord.
"I really admire him, he's moved with the times and keeps reinventing himself."
Tim Barker, 22, of Tavistock Avenue, Ripley, agreed that attracting big names such as Weller was great for the city. He said, "It's fantastic that he's playing the Assembly Rooms. Derby is going through a really good phase musically at the moment - I hope it continues."
Sam Warrington, 57, and his 19-year-old son Joe were ecstatic when they managed to get tickets for the gig after standing in line for an hour-and-a-half. Mr Warrington, of Main Avenue, Allestree, said, "It was well worth it, I'm a massive fan and it's brilliant that he's come to Derby."
Weller entertained the capacity crowd with a mixture of old and new material, playing songs from his new album 22 Dreams, due out next month.
But it was the old favourites such as Eton Rifles which attracted the biggest cheers.
Jean Mannion, of Normanton, had been given tickets for the gig as a 56th birthday surprise from her partner Michael Smith and said it was the best present she had ever had. She said, "The man is a genius with a guitar, he is an amazing musician and it has been a brilliant night."
Mark Knutton, of Derby, summed up the feeling on the night. The 47-year-old said: "That was a god up there on stage tonight - better than I ever expected."