Having announced his intention to play “songs from all the decades”, Paul Weller immediately doused cheers for the 1980s with the withering dismissal that his most chart-friendly years were “f***ing rubbish - you didn’t miss anything”. As if in riposte, his band’s rendition of The Style Council’s Have You Ever Had It Blue? had more in common with 60s bossa nova and coffeehouse culture and, for much of this set, Weller was in mellow, psychedelic mood, from the reflective, pastoral opening number I’m Where I Should Be through to a long and noodly Into Tomorrow.
Paul Weller, Hydro, Glasgow ***
He mildly berated those who don’t want to hear new material, and simultaneously made the case for listening to his latest work with the soulful testifying ballad Long Long Road. This desire to clean right into the corners of his catalogue has the potential to unearth some gems but on this outing his single-minded setlist didn’t always lead to the kind of reciprocal excitement and energy that can come from playing fan favourites.
Anyone foolish enough to be craving the hits was made to wait for Shout to the Top, with its rousing, infectious mix of pop and politics, the romantic caress of You Do Something To Me and looser renditions of Eton Rifles and Start, the latter featuring guitarist Steve Cradock’s son Cassius.
Weller also paid tribute to Glasgow’s great soulman Frankie Miller and wondered if he might be run out of town for playing the beautiful Jam ballad English Rose as part of an all-acoustic encore. He wasn’t.