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Sunday 17 April 2022

Half An Hour Of Weller Remixed And Live At The Apollo

Paul Weller played The Apollo on Friday night, I was there courtesy of a ticket from a friend (who also took the photo in the middle, capturing the curving sweep of the Apollo's balcony rather beautifully). Weller and his band took the stage at eight thirty and played a two hour set, long standing guitarist Steve Craddock present and at the front and two drummers. The first few songs were largely drawn from recent albums, White Sky and Long Time from Saturn's Pattern from 2015, Cosmic Fringes from last year's Fat Pop, sounding tough and very Seventies, lots of guitar and rhythms. From The Floorboards Up, with its Wilco Johnson inspired riff, kept the tempo up. From there Weller dipped in and out of his back catalogue: a slightly ragged Headstart For Happiness; a lovely, low key Have You Ever Had It Blue?; the 90s single Hung Up; recent songs like Fat Pop and Village set against older solo ones like Stanley Road; a dip into the later period Style Council with It's A Very Deep Sea, a song which has aged unexpectedly well. The crowd, many of whom seem to have been out all day in the warmth of some Good Friday sunshine seem a little subdued at times- maybe some are just waiting for the hits or maybe too many beers have sapped the energy (not the two blokes near us who were ejected by the bouncers following a couple of scuffles with people around them).  

The run in towards the end of the set- a trippy version of Above The Clouds, the circling psychedelia of Into Tomorrow, a raspy Shout To The Top, the quickfire blast of Start! followed by full on guitar heroics of Peacock Suit and Brushed- demonstrate the riches in his cupboards, songs from different decades and different parts of his life all sounding like the work of one person, a lineage despite the stylistic differences each one had when first released. When they band return to the stage for the first encore Paul sits at the piano, the fluid, rolling Broken Stones followed by You Do Something To Me (not a favourite of mine I should add), a crowd pleasing That's Entertainment (a definite favourite of mine I should add) and then the slowed down, folk tinged shuffle of Wild Wood. The second encore is the two song punch of The Changing Man and A Town Called Malice, the Apollo's crowd now dancing and singing along in full voice. Weller's reputation as a prickly character and as a traditionalist (the Dadrock tag of the 90s sticks to him) is undeserved- his albums over the last ten years have been full of detours into krautrock, psychedelia, drones and noise and whatever The Style Council were, the weren't unadventurous. His band tonight are young (mainly) and give the songs a thumping (two drummers should do that) but they're delicate when required too. Paul Weller himself doesn't seem to have any less desire in his sixties than he had in his twenties, a man who just wants to get the songs out, get them written, recorded and played. 

For today's thirty minute mix I've pulled together some of the remixes of Weller's songs, drawn from the range of his solo career and taking in trip hop of Portishead, the crashing noise and thumping beats of Richard Hawley's take on Andromeda, some lovely widescreen Balearica courtesy of Leo Zero and Drop Out Orchestra (on Weller's own mid 2010's Balearic groove Starlite), some psychedelic adventures with Amorphous Androgynous and Brendan Lynch's still stunning psyched out/ dubbed out version of Kosmos from 1993 (a record Weatherall used to play as a set closer to fried minds at Sabresonic). 

Thirty Minute Paul Weller Remix Mix

  • Wildwood (Portishead Remix)
  • Andromeda (Richard Hawley Remix)
  • No Tears To Cry (Leo Zero Remix)
  • Aim High (The Higher Aim) (Amorphous Androgynous Remix)
  • Starlite (Drop Out Orchestra Remix)
  • Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats)

This blistering Two Lone Swordsmen remix from 2000 didn't seem to fit in the mix, Weller sent to some place where Killing Joke and krauty- techno co- exist, but I though I should share it again anyway. It's never had an official digital release and when it came out in 2000 it was a white label 12" limited to just 75 copies worldwide. One of which sits is downstairs from where I type this. 

Heliocentric (Swordsmen 4UR Mix)


Walter said...

Great review of this concert and I am looking forward to see him in autumn is Stuttgart. Also thank you for the mix and the bonus, Adam.

Nick L said...

Sounds like you got a fantastic setlist on Friday Adam, I'd love to have seen that. Unfortunately he still does seem to attract some right knuckleheads along to some gigs and I struggle to understand why, when he himself always seems so eclectic and open minded...maybe it's the "late fiftysomething beery fat blokes disapointed at how their lives have turned out" syndrome. This has certainly been in evidence the last few times I've seen him and I've ended up moving away from trouble. But what a terrific mix this is that you've put up. Great stuff.

The Lighthouse Mancunian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Lighthouse Mancunian said...

Great review. Love the Hawley remix.

Echorich said...

Great review Adam.
I've taken the solo ride with Weller since Into Tomorrow, getting off on the platform a number of times, but picking up the train further down the line.
One of the solo tracks which showed me just how much Soul and pathos Weller has was Stanley Road's I Should Have Been There To Inspire You.
Of all his recent work, Starlite is the song that I've connected with most. There's a re-awakening that is so plain for all to hear.
The Drop Out Orchestra Remix takes the track everywhere was meant to go!
No Tears Left To Cry has always occupied a space somewhere between where The Jam ended and the earliest incarnation of The Style Council began. The Leo Zero Remix amps that up into a veritable Wall of Sound.

Khayem said...

What an evocative review, Adam. Although I've had an on-off relationship with Weller's music over the years and I've never been to one of his gigs, the passion and excitement you shared in your post makes me wish I had.

Great decision to go with a Weller Remix playlist, which have always been of interest. Kosmos still sounds incredible today, as do the Amorphous Androgynous and Portishead remixes. I haven't heard Richard Hawley's remix of Andromeda until now and it's great, in fact they all are.

And thanks for finding a reason to append Weatherall & Tenniswood's remix of Heliocentric. I wasn't one of the lucky 75 but did get a digital copy years later and it really is something else.

exilestreet said...

Love that mix. I've always been a bit wary of Weller (I think it was the vote Tory line back in the day. I know he was young but...) Never fully investigated but maybe I will have to. Known the Kosmos Dub since buying that 110 Below comp. Thanks for this /t