PAUL Weller is living proof that an artist, even after years spent in the doldrums, can occasionally get their groove back.
SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Throughout the ̓90s his name was synonymous with turgid, conservative Brit-rock, the vigour, focus and creativity of his peak Jam days seemingly lost forever. However, in 2008 he released 22 Dreams, an excellent album full of experimental, neo-psychedelic textures. Since then his creative renaissance has continued with three critically acclaimed albums in a similar vein, the latest being Saturns Pattern.
A gifted classicist, Weller has always cherry-picked from the past, but his current guise as a Sly Stone-influenced purveyor of cosmic sunshine soul fits him like a bespoke Crombie coat.
The peaks of this performance were such late-flowering gems as the effortlessly hooky Up In Suzie’s Room and the McCartney/Rundgren bounce of Going My Way. He even took a respectable stab at disco with Starlite.
Unfortunately, his dreary Plodfather past poked through with several overextended jams of the sort I wish he’d leave behind. The likes of Porcelain Gods recalled the depressing stench of an early evening ̓90s T In The Park performance.
Still, the zest of his recent solo material plus a smattering of Jam classics – during which his mahogany soul man voice reverted to its natural Woking roots – more than compensated for those unwelcome longueurs.
If tomorrow he released an avant garde conceptual suite, I wouldn’t be surprised. How many 50-something survivors can you say that about?