paul weller

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PAUL WELLER'S PHASE TWO: THE STYLE COUNCIL. There are second acts in English life

PAUL WELLER'S PHASE TWO: THE STYLE COUNCIL. There are second acts in English life

After six exhausting years in the Jam, singer-songwriter Paul Weller pulled the plug in October '82 and within months re-appeared with his keyboard-playing friend Mick Talbot as The Style Council, a group with a soulful, European attitude and some hard things to say about the political state of Britain under the Torys. Their debut album Cafe...

Various: Secret Love 4 (Sonar Kollektiv/Rhythmethod)

Various: Secret Love 4 (Sonar Kollektiv/Rhythmethod)

I'm guessing by the title that this is part of a series, the three previous volumes of which have gone right past me -- as I imagine they have with most people. Only a pre-release copy of this, a lazy Sunday and it being close to hand got me to it -- and I'm very glad of that. With the likes of Andrew Bird and Findlay Brown represented...

Dr John: Gris Gris (1968)

Dr John: Gris Gris (1968)

Long careers generally mean the raw and rough edges of the early days are smoothed out, and that audiences forget just how edgy and unusual the artist’s music actually was. So it is with Dr John whose career reaches way back to playing piano in bars as teenager in New Orleans during the 50s alongside legendary figures such as Professor...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Paul Weller: 22 Dreams (Shock)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Paul Weller: 22 Dreams (Shock)

A couple of months ago I was invited to give a lecture to Auckland Uni music students about a contemporary songwriter of my choosing whose catalogue of work was interesting and worth studying.I picked Paul Weller on strength of this quote from him about his forthcoming album: "It takes in soul, rock'n'roll, there are some folky moments,...

RAY DAVIES INTERVIEWED: Still a well respected man (2008)

RAY DAVIES INTERVIEWED: Still a well respected man (2008)

Ray Davies, the former Kink and for the past decade a solo artist, say that these days he “stays -- notice I don’t use the word ‘live’ -- at Highgate Hill which is literally half a mile from where I grew up in Muswell Hill. It’s the highest spot in London and you can look over the city, one of the more romantic...

IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY

IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY

In November 68 the Beatles released what became known as The White Album, a diffuse and diverse double-vinyl which in places sounded like the work of three separate songwriters who has seconded various other band members. Their producer George Martin argued for a tight single album, and many others have suggested since it might have been...

ROBERT WYATT IN CUCKOOLAND (2003): A man, his muse and his music

ROBERT WYATT IN CUCKOOLAND (2003): A man, his muse and his music

Robert Wyatt occupies an unusual place in rock culture. He's in it, but also apart from it. He's not known for his hits, although did enjoy brief chart success and a Top of the Pops appearance with his singular version of the Monkees' I'm A Believer back in '74. He doesn't do videos and won't be coming to a concert stage near you, unless it...

MIKE EDWARDS OF JESUS JONES INTERVIEWED (1993): Right here, right now . . . back then

MIKE EDWARDS OF JESUS JONES INTERVIEWED (1993): Right here, right now . . . back then

Mike Edwards has got a big mouth - and without going too far into the anatomically impossible, it’s his big mouth that gets right up people’s noses. And right here, right now in Birmingham, he’s been getting up the noses of the British music press - which admittedly isn’t hard to do and probably quite worthwhile....

Ocean Colour Scene: Saturday (Keep on Keeping On)

Ocean Colour Scene: Saturday (Keep on Keeping On)

Despite being one of the most exciting and interesting bands of the Britpop Nineties -– singer Simon Fowler had a rough and soulful voice, guitarist Steve Cradock a member of Paul Weller's touring band –- this outfit from Birmingham never really took hold in New Zealand. On their home turf they had Weller as a vocal...

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE INTERVIEWED (1996): Take it to the top

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE INTERVIEWED (1996): Take it to the top

From the outside – even on the rather mundane inside -- the Irish Centre on Birmingham's dreary, windswept Digbeth High St doesn't look like the city’s premier rock’n’roll venue. And it’s probably not, but . . . “Yeah, the history’s here though,” says Ocean Colour Scene’s lanky...

No Way Sis: I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (1996)

No Way Sis: I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (1996)

For the Oasis tribute band No Way Sis their work was done for them: Oasis were notorious for borrowing/plagiarising/thieving melodies which songwriter Noel Gallagher cheeerfully admitted -- and their song Shakermaker owed more than a nod to the Greenaway-Cook song I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (a hit for the New Seekers and also used as...

The Vapours: Turning Japanese (1980)

The Vapours: Turning Japanese (1980)

Ever wondered why the English New Wave band The Vapours were just a one-hit wonder with Turning Japanese? They don't. They know exactly why. A little background though: they were from Guildford and the mainman was singer/songwriter Dave Fenton who had a day job as a solicitor. Playing as the Vapours, the four-piece were spotted by Bruce...

PAUL WELLER: THE MODFATHER (2010); The ways forward

PAUL WELLER: THE MODFATHER (2010); The ways forward

Some careers get too long to be easily digestible. Pity those doing the Paul McCartney reissue. His solo career in pop-rock – we leave aside his classical projects and The Fireman – stretches to almost 20 albums, and about twice that many of you include Wings and live albums. Even Paul Weller, who started his recording...

NOEL GALLAGHER OF OASIS INTERVIEWED (1998): Just being here, now

NOEL GALLAGHER OF OASIS INTERVIEWED (1998): Just being here, now

The trademark cockiness and dismissive directness is still there, but at times this also sounds like a very different Noel Gallagher, a man more circumspect and, although still expletive-heavy, sounding less prone to shooting from the lip. A little over two years ago we met before an Oasis gig in Leicester and he was garrulous,...

NOEL GALLAGER OF OASIS INTERVIEWED (1995): The view from the top

NOEL GALLAGER OF OASIS INTERVIEWED (1995): The view from the top

It's the week after Oasis’ Earl’s Court triumphs where they’ve pulled 20,000 for each of their two night stands and now Noel Gallagher is slouched backstage in the unpromisingly named Gramby Halls, Leicester. In two hours the band will play a blinder of a gig to 3000 in this basketball stadium. Their set tonight is the...

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Jam, All Mod Cons and Setting Sons

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Jam, All Mod Cons and Setting Sons

By the time of their third album All Mod Cons (their third in a little over 18 months), the Jam's Paul Weller had really hit his straps as a songwriter. Where their previous two albums had gone off like boxes of fireworks, by All Mod Cons the mood was changing and Weller's very English influences (notably Ray Davies) were being incorporated into...

Beady Eye: Different Gear Still Speeding (Liberator)

Beady Eye: Different Gear Still Speeding (Liberator)

In one of life's great ironies it was, of all people, Ringo Starr who enjoyed the greatest chart success with a string of chart singles in the wake of the Beatles break-up. And who would have reckoned on Dave Grohl's subsequent career after Nirvana. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Liam Gallagher is the first Oasis brother out of...

Nick Lowe: Basing Street (1979)

Nick Lowe: Basing Street (1979)

Nick Lowe's remarkable career to a kind of alt.American balladeer today began way back in UK pub rock with Dave Edmunds in the band Rockpile, a band dubbed "Dad's Army" in the late Seventies because they were all past 30. But their fired-up rock also caught the attention of the post-punk crowd, Lowe was a producer in demand for the...

Occult Detective Club: Crimes (Alive/Southbound)

Occult Detective Club: Crimes (Alive/Southbound)

This can perhaps be very brief. If you haven't heard a decent punky rock album since the Jam's In the City and All Mod Cons then this Dallas four-piece has an album for you. In fact you might say they pretty much have In the City and All Mod Cons rejigged and redelivered for you.  (Up from the Underground, the sample track posted, is...

SUEDE REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2011): England made me

SUEDE REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2011): England made me

At the going down of the sun we will remember them, those great Britpop bands who were The Next Big Thing – like Longpigs, the Seahorses, Mansun, the Supernaturals . . . All household names, right? Yes, it was – and still is -- easy to be cynical about Nineties Britpop, especially from this distance when Oasis and Blur...

Ocean Colour Scene: Here in my Heart

Ocean Colour Scene: Here in my Heart

It was one of the saddest days I can recall, and yet it had started out so well in Birmingham, a place where I had been drawn to interview the Britpop band Ocean Colour Scene in their hometown. It was 1998 I think. OCS never really made an impact in New Zealand, which was a pity because the night I saw them they were spectacularly good,...

Paul Weller, Wild Wood (1994)

Paul Weller, Wild Wood (1994)

By the time he came to releasing albums under his own name in the early 90s, Paul Weller had already had two separate careers: first in the Jam and then the Style Council. If the Jam had been quintessentially English and took its references from the Who, the Small Faces and Ray Davies as much as Mod culture and the rage of the punk years,...

The Kinks, Something Else (1967)

The Kinks, Something Else (1967)

Anyone looking for that low door in the wall which allows entry into the distinctive garden of English pop-rock is, almost invariably drawn to the Kinks whose songwriter Ray Davies had a mainline into the Anglo-heartland for almost decade from the mid 60s.Davies' songwriting could sometimes be satirical or cynical, but more often than not he...

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