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 couple of weeks ago, I saw A Band Called Malice at the Half Moon in Putney. Returning after a successful appearance in January, the gig had sold out in advance and South London was ready to experience the style, attitude and hits of one of Britain’s most enduring bands once again.
Happy Easter everyone! I can’t quite believe we’re three months in to 2018 already… What I thought I’d do this year is to talk about the top few new albums that have really been making an impression on me each quarter. So, here’s the first instalment!
Instead of listing my top however many favourite songs or albums as I’ve done previously, I thought this year I’d write a little about five of my favourite gigs I’ve been to in 2017, some of which I’ve blogged about previously and some of which I haven’t…
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…
Six months ago today, an Instagram photo from Andy Crofts all but confirmed rumours that he was going to replace Andy Lewis on bass in Paul Weller’s band. Although I’ve now grown to love the new band setup with Tom van Heel taking Crofts’ place on keys and the Moons frontman on bass, Andy Lewis is the bassist I associate with my earliest memories of seeing Weller’s band.
There are at least a few parallels which can be drawn between the careers of Pictures frontman Maze Exler (pronounced ‘mat-zay’ not ‘maize’ as I recently discovered) and Paul Weller, the man who Pictures will be supporting again in September.
31st May 2017, 8:20pm CET: Pictures frontman Maze Exler calmly puts down his guitar, reaches on top of a nearby amp and picks up a cigarette. He lights it but the flame doesn’t last for more than five seconds of his wandering around. He flicks his lighter again and this time the flame takes. He wanders over to the microphone in the centre of the Huxleys Neue Welt stage and slowly begins singing. We already knew from Ole Fries’ guitar intro exactly what it was going to be.