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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Review: Paul Weller @ The Brighton Centre

It's rare the man gives a nod to his four decade-plus body of work, but, at the Brighton Centre, last Saturday night, Paul Weller did just that. 

New album A Kind Revolution featured just four times on a set list that came in at thirty-one songs.

It's more than likely the softening of Weller's almost blanket non-commemoration of his back catalogue is more a commercial than nostalgic decision.

A Kind Revolution reached a lowly (for Weller) number six on the official album chart. It had sunk without trace as many weeks later.Yet, it garnered some of his most positive and gushing reviews.

The Brighton Centre lights dimmed bang on 8.30pm, but it was almost five minutes before Weller and his 'band of brothers' took to the stage.


Alpha, A Kind Revolution bonus track, pumped out from the PA and set the scene for a man who has mastered more genres than Bowie.

He then skipped out (yup, skipped) and opened with recent Saturn Pattern's cut, I'm Where I Should Be.

This gave way to another track from the 2015 album, White Sky, and the psychedelic bleeps and echoes crunched perfectly into A Kind Revolution's, Nova.

Fourth up was 2005's From The Floorboards Up, before we returned to Weller's expected script of only serving the here and now, with a third Saturns Pattern offering, Long Time


If the Weller non-obsessives were feeling slightly bemused then they were in for a treat. 

Three cuts from Weller's Style Council days - Have You Ever Had It Blue, My Ever Changing Moods and Shout To The Top - joined five from his Jam golden period -  Man In The Corner Shop, Start, English Rose, That's Entertainment and Town Called Malice. 

He also made a reference to a little known early nineties visit to Brighton's now defunct Zap Club. A time when he was trying to re-climb 'the slippery ladder to stardom and fame'.

I was there that day, but only for the soundcheck. Weller and band played through the coming evening's full set and the man himself seemed wired and more than a little nervous. 


Weller acknowledged that day of career salvation with a peerless run through Above The Clouds.

It was with the first encore that the man truly shone. Over the course of five acoustic tracks - Gravity (new song), English Rose, That's Entertainment, All On A Misty Morning and Wild Wood  - Weller's voice echoed out and all were in awe of both its tone and authority .. which bodes well for his fothcoming new album, True Meanings; a collection of reflective tracks that feature mostly just Weller and his acoustic guitar.

Second and final encore was a tour de force run through of The Weaver, Broken Stones (shout out for bass player Andy Croft's daughter, Luna, on tambourine), The Changingman and Town Called Malice. They were still singing his songs on my bus ride out of Brighton. 

Paul Weller at The Brighton Centre was a masterclass in presentation, delivery and how to follow a singular vision without resulting to only adhering to a singular path. 

by: Mike Cobley




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