Skip to main content

Paul Weller At The Power Station In Auckland, NZ (10-29-10) - A Fan's Review!



Concert review: Paul Weller, Auckland, October 29
By: Nik Dirga



There's a reason Paul Weller was dubbed 'The Modfather' of British pop. From his early days with the short sharp punk attacks of The Jam to leading the way for "Britpop" in the early 1990s to his modern soulful experimentation, Weller has been at the vanguard of British music, combining his idols The Who and the Kinks with his own fierce music and bittersweet passions.

He's never been huge in the US, but Weller's albums consistently top the charts in England; the whole country and its thick, living history and class culture are his muse. For my money, Weller's as vital as he's ever been -- this year's album "Wake Up The Nation" is a barnstormer, one of the best of 2010.

He made it to Auckland this weekend in a series of three sold-out shows at the Powerstation, his first appearance in New Zealand ever. From the moment he took the stage, clad in black and chatty in his thick accent, Weller did a fine job surveying his 40-year-career, mixing the old Jam and Style Council classics with his superb more recent work. (This guy apparently thinks Weller should have played nothing but Jam tracks, but I disagree -- the man's got a rich and diverse catalog, why not explore it?)

I actually really discovered Weller with his solo albums, particularly 1993's rich, soulful "Wild Wood," and only came to the Jam belatedly some time later. As he's aged Weller has weathered and seasoned like a fine old oak, into a peerless singer/songwriter who evokes a timeless mood tinged with that old punk anger. The best comparison I can make is to another old angry young punk, Elvis Costello, who's lasted far longer than anyone might have guessed by constantly changing his approach.

Weller showed off all his sides during the show -- highlights included a storming, psychedelic jam through "Pieces of Dreams" from his latest album, or the sweeping, eclectic "Trees," which crams together several different songs into one powerful mix. The "Stanley Road" classic torch song "You Do Something To Me" got a loving take, while "Echoes Round The Sun" (written with Noel Gallagher) was a feedback-laced gem. The old Jam classics could be counted upon to get the crowd raving, such as a bouncy bass-driven "Start!" (smashed together with the brand new "Fast Car/Slow Traffic" in a sterling medley) and a massive fist-pumping singalong take on "Eton Rifles," or The Style Council's poppy "Shout To The Top."

Over nearly two hours and two encores, Weller swerved from piano-led balladry to crunchy guitar anthems without missing a beat. It's good to see The Modfather is still full of plenty of steam and I can't wait to see what he does next.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 ‘…

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 Feature From The Daily Mail!

There's life in the old mod yet: At 50 Paul Weller's still chasing his dreams...
By Adrian ThrillsThe Daily Mail
Paul Weller has always been a restless soul. When he disbanded The Jam in 1982, even his dad thought he'd taken leave of his senses. And while most of his original peers now make a living by trading on past glories, he is generally reluctant to play old hits. Even when he was garlanded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits in 2006, he cut an incongruous figure. As pop's bright young things swanned around with their entourages, he could be found strolling about backstage with his children, itching to get on stage before heading home.

If anything, that Brit Award seems to have spurred him to strive even harder, and he marked his recent 50th birthday by topping the charts with 22 Dreams, the most diverse album of his career. 'I didn't want to become one of those people whose best work is behind them once they get to a certain age,' he says o…