Between 8:00 and 9:30 this morning (Friday 14th), Paul Weller celebrated the release of his fourteenth solo studio album True Meanings by inviting Chris Evans to his Black Barn studio, where the album was recorded, to play a session and talk about the record. In front of a number of special guests, including Ray Winstone, Weller played a live session, with tracks interspersed in the show’s content and brief chats with Weller and some of his band.
Today’s the day! Paul Weller’s new album True Meanings is out now, with the Modfather releasing his fourteenth solo effort in the first year of his sixth decade. After the pomp and intricate effects of his experimental last three albums and the arena tours to match, here Weller takes it back to basics on his first wholly acoustic studio album, which will feature a number of other collaborators and instruments, including an orchestra on some tracks.
A Band Called Malice
Norwich Arts Centre
Anyone in any doubt about just how much The Jam mean to people needs only go and see one of their many tribute bands. And on the evidence of last night’s performance, the recently formed, Midlands-based A Band Called Malice are one of the best.
Steve Pilgrim and Danny Thompson: no, not a new Viz cartoon, but a pair responsible for one of the most enjoyable musical 55 minutes of the year at Putney’s intimate Half Moon despite both being used to backing the stars at far larger arenas.
Out now, 8/10
I’ll be honest, like many Paul Weller fans, I’ve known who original Jam guitarist Steve Brookes is for some time but have never quite got round to seeking out his solo work. All that changed with the release at the start of the month of his fourth album Hoodoo Zoo, recorded at Weller’s Black Barn studios, featuring the Modfather on two tracks, plus Ben Gordelier who plays percussion on most and Black Barn resident producer Charles Rees behind the desk.
The Weller camp have been busy this year having already released two albums, completed tours of the UK, Europe (twice), and starred in various sessions and interviews on radio and TV. The band are currently on a month-long North American tour before they head East in January to visit Japan and Australia for two consecutive nights at the Sydney Opera House. Then comes their February and March UK arena tour which finishes at London’s O2 Arena. Here’s a round-up of some of the projects Paul Weller’s band have been up to recently away from the band, plus some other juicy morsels of Weller information…
Whilst there have been some very questionable covers done in the past, there have also been some corkers. Here is a list, in ascending order, of my twenty-five favourite cover versions that I’ve discovered so far…
So, having managed a couple of listens, I thought I’d post my brief initial thoughts on Paul Weller’s album A Kind Revolution, released today. This is by no means a complete review, just what I’ve picked up so far.
It’s only eight days to go until 12th May, the day Paul Weller’s latest studio album A Kind Revolution is released on Parlophone. And after three extremely positive reviews (five stars from Pat Gilbert in Mojo and 8/10s from John Lewis in Uncut and David Quantick in Classic Rock) it’s looking like a good one. We’ve been teased snippets of most of the songs and heard several live on the recent UK tour (which I reviewed here), so here is a list of what we know about the songs on the album so far…
Allow me to share with you my five highlights of the year in album form. The list is not exhaustive or exclusive to one genre or another, but click on the videos, explore a bit further if you like what you hear, and enjoy the soundtrack to my year!