Skip to main content

Paul Weller In Brixton - The Guardian Gig Review!

Paul Weller
Brixton Academy, London

5 / 5
Betty Clarke
The Guardian, Wednesday November 26 2008

On a giant screen is an image of John Lennon, the former Beatle who always believed the number nine was lucky. On the stage below struts Paul Weller, his rejuvenated career proof that Lennon was right.

Weller's ninth album, 22 Dreams, has garnered the Modfather his best reviews for a decade. Dispensing with the dadrock he has been mired in since the mid 1990s, the double album is awash with dreamy folk, lush psychedelia and Philly soul, linked by unlikely interludes into krautrock and free-form jazz. At 50, Weller is celebrating being once again at the vanguard of British rock with the first of three sold-out shows at the Brixton Academy.

Weller bounces up and down, wolf-whistles down his mic and throws a triumphant hand in the air. "Oh, it's good to be home!" he says, gleefully.

The classic rock of Peacock Suit and Changingman feed off the energy of new songs like 22 Dreams. The subtly nuanced songs All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You) and Have You Made Up Your Mind slot snugly beside You Do Something to Me and an effects-driven, dub-version of Wild Wood.

That's Entertainment and The Butterfly Collector are highlights of an unplugged segment, while Eton Rifles sees Weller playing so hard his guitar strap breaks. Though he gets lost in the meandering Picking Up Sticks and mundane Wishing on a Star, Weller has still re-acquired the power to surprise and doesn't disappoint with a thought-provoking, if mood-killing, montage of scenes from 9/11, the Vietnam War and JFK's assassination. Temporarily stunned into silence, the crowd's boisterious chants bring Weller skipping back for not one but two encores, his confidence sky high. Or as he puts it: "Fucking yes!"

From The Guardian


Popular posts from this blog

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 ‘…

Nominate Photographer Stefan Duerr For Best Vinyl Art 2010 Award!

Photographer Stefan Duerr has designed art work and photographed a wide range of musicians such as Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene, Steve Cradock, The Vals, Marner Brown and The Moons. His design of Steve Cradock's solo debut, The Kundalini Target is eligible for the Best Art Vinyl 2010 Award!

Stefan is a very good friend of Paul Weller News and we would like to ask for our reader's support in helping Stefan win this award. In conjunction with industry experts, the award is also voted on by the public. So, please follow the instructions below and lend your support to Stefan and his craft. It will only take a few moments.

Go to:
Just enter Steve Cradock / The Kundalini Target in the first box,  and then vote for two other albums you like.
All three records on your list must be different, and you can only vote once. Voting closes at midnight 12th December.

Stefan Duerr Photography
Stefan and Paul Weller News kindly thank you …