Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Modern World Misses out on Older Classics

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Modern World Misses out on Older Classics

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Duke Theatre review

THERE'S a cliche, or a bad gag, that nostalgia ain't what it used to be. It might be a throwaway witticism closer to a dad joke than anything of meaning but like a broken clock it does have its uses.

Paul Weller, the Modfather, could do well to mull that one over.

Now, in his late 50s and his fifth decade as a performer he's leaner and back on form but with such a back catalogue there is an inevitability he won't be able to please everyone.

Looking around there are plenty of men with the Weller haircut, looking like a neglected Bedlington terrier but onstage Weller himself cuts a lean figure. The iconic hairstyle has gone, as has much of the spirit of his past.

No one was expecting a night of the Jam, or even Stanley Road, but there was a defi-nite feel of anticlimax by the end of the evening.

His latest effort Saturn's Pattern is a record of well-crafted rock. For well-crafted you might need to read safe, but on stage the tracks are at least given a little more kick than in the studio.

But even with that swagger and Weller's self-assured stage presence there are moments when the Arena crowd slow to a standstill.

Going My Way is pedestrian at best and the warning light comes as Weller takes a seat at the piano.

With a set focusing on his recent years Weller still managed to keep the Metro Arena entranced.

The title track, Saturns Pattern, gets a little recognition and it gives the set an early life but it's when Weller dives deeper into his past that the audience come alive.

The awkward groove of Above the Clouds goes down a treat with the crowd, the band are tight but it does all feel a bit clinical.

Across the tour the setlist has been largely unchanged, and while that's not unusual there is a feeling every aspect of the evening is pinpoint accurate.

The band, as polished as they are, the lack of chat with the audience - Weller feels distant and ultimately you have to wonder if he has almost tuned out of performance.

Introducing a Style Council number "I'd love to transport you to the 80s, well I don't personally cos I hated it but one of the good things about the 80s was this song," but even now the Style Council sound toothless and a bit self indulgent.

Start is when the arena comes alive, or it is the moment closest to it, clinical rock in a building with no atmosphere is a recipe for stagnation but the staccato riff manages to clear the air as Weller manages to prove he's still capable of turning it on when he wants to.

Elsewhere he finished off with Town Called Malice, in Newcastle we weren't so lucky and even though he has a vast back catalogue it was conspicuous in its absence.

Had he packed it in back in 1982 he would have an untarnished legacy and though a packed Arena suggests otherwise, the longer he continues the further he gets from the acerbic lyrics of his youth. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.