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Review Of Paul Weller Gig In Crawley From The Crawley Observer!

REVIEW: Paul Weller, K2 leisure centre, Crawley.

Published Date: 10 November 2008
By Phil Hewitt

You've got to hand it to the old boy. Even after all these years, Paul Weller still hasn't lost his edge, his ability to shock.
On the penultimate song we were suddenly staring at graphic images of 9/11 - and fleetingly it seemed that Weller had lapsed into the most appalling error of taste.

But then, more generalised images of war gave way to a succession of images of great peace movement figures (Gandhi, JFK, Lennon et al), focusing in on their wise words - words the world has unwisely ignored.

Shock turned to admiration. OK, he was probably preaching to a fairly peaceful audience (it seems unlikely he dissuaded anyone from murder that night) but well done, Weller. Anyone with a platform who uses it to speak up for peace gets my vote.

And that's on top of a blindingly-brilliant two hour set.

Weller is simply the best, drawing on a magnificent 30-year back catalogue and - sure sign of genius here - seamlessly slipping in a good number of tracks from his latest recording, 22 Dreams.

Sea Spray, Push It Along and Invisible, released just a few months ago, sat easily alongside Broken Stones, Paper Smile and Porcelain Gods, classics from his solo career.

But inevitably it was the Jam numbers which brought the house down, particularly a lovely version of The Butterfly Collector and an all-too-rare outing for Eton Rifles.

That's Entertainment (has he ever written a finer song?) was a highlight, and Town Called Malice was his customary curtain-closer. Of course he'd never contemplate a Jam-only set (and why should he?) - but just imagine the response he'd get.

As for the rest, It's the first time I've not seen him sing Sunflower; it would have been great to have heard You Do Something To Me; and a nod to his Style Council days would have been good.

But with his remarkable riches to choose from, Weller crafted an excellent set without them. Great sound and a pretty good atmosphere completed a night to savour.

From The Crawley Observer

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