Skip to main content

Paul Weller At The Tivoli In Brisbane, Australia (October 19, 2010) Pics, Vids, Review!

Modfather Marches On
Tony Moore
October 20, 2010 - 6:11PM
Sydney Morning Herald

Paul Weller at the Tivoli is not a greatest hits package from his two previous bands, the Jam or the Style Council.

If that's what you wanted, you might be disappointed. But there are plenty of tribute bands that will let you relive the Jam's past.

If instead you want to sweep through some of the best rock and soul to emerge from England in the past 30 years, Paul Weller is still very much your man.

He remains the Modfather.

Emerging on stage at 9pm dressed in the ever-impressive pin-striped, grey suit, the man judged by NME as the coolest man in rock played well over two hours, including two encores in a set that concentrated heavily on his newest album, Wake Up the Nation.

Weller appears determined not to be considered a walking back catalogue and played a handful of songs from his very early glory days.

You did get these absolute gems from his days as the Jam's singer songwriter: Art School, Pretty Green, Start, Strange Town and Butterfly Collector and his only number one hit in Australia (1984), Shout to The Top written when he fronted his first post-Jam band, the very elegant, Style Council. Those two bands helped define English music from 1977 to 1984.

Last night an almost-packed out Tivoli loved the trip down memory lane.

But the gig really belonged to Weller's solo career, particularly songs from Wake Up the Nation.

The show opened with the aggressive Moonshine, one of nine tracks from the latest album played at last night's gig.

Trees began with Weller playing Georgie Fame-styled piano, merging into soul, then a psychedelic guitar-workout before it's back to the piano, with Paul singing to John Weller, his late father and long-term manager who died last year, "Take me back to the fields, where I need to be."

The set proper finished with a rock work-out, the trippy Echoes Round the Sun, written with Noel Gallagher, while the band - Andy Lewis (bass), Steve Cradock (guitar), Andy Crofts (keyboards) and Steve Pilgrim (drums) left to sounds of the guitars feeding back.

They all returned with accoustic guitars for the start of the encore.

But the real encore was The Changingman from Weller's 1995 Stanley Road album, with its sweet circular guitar intro. And with that, Weller was off to have another well-earned ciggie.

Paul Weller is back and while some songs wander on somewhat - at 52, and after more than 30 years in the business - he is entitled to take a few risks.

The show rises and falls with the feel of the big hits, but it's a brave show from an eminently talented songwriter who will nod to his past, but still wants to see what else he can do.

(Not that that stopped crowd members such as Sam and Nic from London wondering if he still has the Peacock suit. Google it, everybody.)

Support acts, the scruffy-looking Widowbirds, drew a warm response to a short set of accoustic blues and soul love songs with singer Simon Meli's voice a real stand-out.

- Paul Weller, plus the Widow Birds play again at The Tivoli tonight, then in Sydney at the Enmore Theatre (October 22, 23), then Melbourne's Forum Theatre (October 26,27).


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 ‘…

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 …