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Paul Weller At The Power Station In Auckland, NZ (10-29-10)

Paul Weller
October 29: The Powerstation, Auckland

British legend Paul Weller found himself in a bit of a jam last night.

Does the man known as the Modfather play his greatest hits or mix up his new music?

Given that this was his first appearance in New Zealand, there really was only one answer - the punters wanted the 34-year drought broken with a flood of familiarity

But Weller ignored that too much during this 90-minute Kiwi debut.

He started superbly and finished very strongly, belting out the snappy anthems that made his original band The Jam so influential in the late 70s and early 80s. In between things fell a bit flat with Weller guilty of being a little self-indulgent in playing tracks that seemed to be lost on the capacity crowd.

Given his peculiar absence from these shores - noted by Weller early on the night: "It's been a long time but we finally got here." - the man who transposed punk with a cool edge, should have read his audience better.

They were there to hear The Jam and The Style Council, they didn't really want to ramble down Stanley Road. And the crowd was the perfect barometer. The Eton Rifles had them up early as did Shout To The Top.

And the thumping renditions of That's Entertainment and Town Called Malice had the ground floor bouncing about. But they came too late in this slick show. The middle stages of such an anticipated night were a little under-Weller-ming.

That's Weller though. He's always been his own man. His creativity burns too strongly to be stuck in the past for too long. Why else would he break up The Jam at their peak? He has maintained his drive and energy to consistently win critical acclaim and sell a stack of solo albums.

It always been done with his trademark style. There's a uniqueness to Weller that has allowed him to transcend the decades with massive respect.

Just last month Weller ranked No 6 on the annual "cool list" of NME with the UK's musical bible earlier handing him their Godlike Genius award in February.

The reasons for that were obvious in Auckland. He poured his heart into Sea Spray, his distinctive voice dominated That Dangerous Age and there was an old edge to a track that was born out of collaboration with Oasis' Noel Gallagher.

The fact this show sold out so quickly is reflective of Weller's standing, his longevity and his unmistakeable sound. It will be interesting to see if he adjusts his sets for tonight's second show and Sunday's third.

The 52-year-old has plenty up his sleeve. Don't forget The Jam charted 18 consecutive top 40 singles in the UK, including four No 1 hits. That's clearly what the punters here want after being denied for more than 30 years.

And Weller has the goods to dish it up. He really is Mr Cool as the centre of attention and his guitar-driven four piece band are superb.



  1. christ,,hes paul weller,,hes not the jam,hes not the style council....thats a ridiculous wonder he doesnt jet off to these places if theyre so stuck in the past...see u on dec 4th paul,in glasgow where the audience love you and your current material..xxxx

  2. Absolutely agree with Paul.......Did you expect him to tour and promote on the back of a new album release and not play any new material ?
    OK, real fans may be bias, but what a f`ing geezer and what a performance. I bought In The City in 1977 and followed the Jam / Style Council right through. Stanley Road is an absolute icon of an album, but I kind of lost
    him after that.......... Until now.
    Art Scool :) Ad - Auckland via East London

  3. The Jam broke up nearly thirty years ago, (it broke my heart), the Style Council 10 years ago. This man still pumps out magnificent music which is relevent now. I struggle to think of anyone else barring Neil Young who has such creative excellence over such a long period.
    It maybe a bit much for this reviewer and some members of the Auckland audience if the last Weller album they bought was Cafe Bleu and didn't like it much because it was 'a bit poofy' His solo career has moved and twisted into new and exciting dimensions. You could never say it has been a boring ride. Check out Heavy Soul, 22 Dreams, and Wake Up to see Weller's musical consciousness never sleeps. Please Paul, come back soon!!!

  4. This review is crap, he must have been at a different gig to me ..... I thought (as usual) Weller got the mix of old crowd pleasers and current material spot on. To include 5 Jam songs and Shout To The Top was a treat. But all of his new stuff sounded superb, and the crowd loved it!
    I thought to play Art School was particularly good.
    After all these years, he is still the man. Loved him in '77 and love him now. So pleased he came over to NZ, not sure how many more chances I'll get to see him.
    Mods Rule!
    The Cappaccino Kid

  5. If he wants a greatest hits set he should go see a covers band. Or stay at home and play the CDs. Here's my brief take on it -

  6. Personally the concert exceeded my expectations, it was extreme high energy and I really appreciated seeing and hearing Paul Weller and the band perform live for the first time. I thought there was a good mix of old and new songs and I don’t think it is short-changing the audience to play songs from the last 2 albums when they were UK no1 and no2 albums respectively! Weller is not on his lap of honour yet, and from what I could see still a long way off the finish line : )

  7. I was at the Sunday gig and thought Paul put on a fantastic high energy show that was appreciated by the crowd. It must be said however that this is the first time Paul has been to NZ - so for those old Jam or Style Council fans this was their first chance to see Weller live - so high expectations all round - but for me this was one of the best gigs ever and great to see my fellow 40 - 50+ year olds rocking out like we were 25 again - 10 out of 10! Jenny

  8. the tour is titled "wake up the nation" not a trip down memory road playing Jam songs all night!!what a stupid review..he is touring on the back of one of the best records he has ever call yourself a fan??


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