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2017: Top ten albums

2017: Top ten albums

My top-ten album list for 2017 originally contained about 17 entries. That the final list doesn’t contain Spoon, St Vincent, Jane Weaver or Loyle Carner, in particular, underlines the quality of the ten I’ve culled it back to. Before getting to the list of albums, let’s just call out some stand out tracks for the […]

2014: Top ten albums

2014: Top ten albums

I’ve been posting an annual ‘best of’ list for a few years now – this is the fifth run through. I can honestly say that this is the easiest year by far. That isn’t a reflection on the scarcity of good material. Rather, the ten albums listed below stand head and shoulders out there as […]

Weller in Brooklyn

Weller in Brooklyn

When Paul Weller rolls into town, I take notice. He’s probably the person I’ve seen perform live more than any other artist – I can honestly say that I’ve lost count. So, while I never had the pleasure of seeing either The Jam (in fairness, I was seven years-old when they split – so I […]

Latitude: the seventh edition

Latitude: the seventh edition

OK, I’ll come clean. While the summer has been more than a little hectic, I did manage to squeeze in Latitude. All very last minute, all very opportunistic. Despite the trenchfoot-friendly conditions, I’m chuffed to have made it. A festival with headliners including Weller and Elbow? Count me the hell in. Latitude is becoming firmly […]

An on-form Weller takes some beating

An on-form Weller takes some beating

‘Musically relevant’ doesn’t quite capture it. There are not many artists who’ve had a career with the longevity, the creative reinvention, the stylistic shifts, and the consistency of Paul Weller. The norm for an artist who’s been recording for nearly 40 years would be to kick into a live set with familiar material. The fans […]

Creativity, with a pinch of 'Wellerness'

Creativity, with a pinch of ‘Wellerness’

I figured that ‘Starlight’ was an early indication of what was to come. It sounded like it was a track lifted straight off ‘Modernism: A New Decade’, the notorious final Style Council LP. I say this not by way of criticism – I love it when Weller shakes off the shackles that his fans place […]

What the world needs is more from Matt Deighton

What the world needs is more from Matt Deighton

Where is Matt Deighton? He should be one of the UKs most celebrated singer/song-writers, but instead he’s Missing In Action. His recording career has seen him cover a huge territory, from soulful pop to full-on psychedelic rock through to acid-tinged funk. The common thread is about as English as a pint of bitter – folk, […]

Three contentious claims. All involve Weller.

Three contentious claims. All involve Weller.

Warning: I’m about to go out on a limb here… Weller’s best band was The Jam. I know have argued the corner for The Style Council as being a time which captured Weller at the peak of his ‘creative’ mode – pushing the boundaries of his music. But, let’s be honest – for balls-out, angry […]

the council movement

the council movement

I’ve argued that Weller’s creative peak was with The Style Council. It was a period characterised by an explosion in the influences in his music. Mick Talbot was clearly a huge factor in this evolution. He’s rarely celebrated. He should be. This is a mix which I did for the King Truman project – ‘a […]

Mick's Up

Mick’s Up

So that’s settled then. Weller’s creative peak was with The Style Council. My last post seemed to strike a chord. I figured that there was only one direction that my next post could take. The Style Council was not all about Weller. It was also Mick Talbot’s show. Master of the Hammond organ, a proponent […]

A creative peak?

A creative peak?

“Paul Weller was at his most interesting and rewarding with the Style Council, wasn’t he?” So wrote a friend of mine on his facebook wall a few weeks back. It’s a statement which would probably have many a Weller fan up in arms; demanding that the entire period that Weller spent flanked by Mick Talbot, […]

The Small Faces. Drugs may have been involved.

The Small Faces. Drugs may have been involved.

‘Everything they ever recorded was either on, or about, drugs’ I’d love to know where that quote came from. Sadly, I don’t. It’s the kind of quote which is often attributed to a band – and you pretty much know that the stories are overbaked. With The Small Faces, you can’t help but think that […]