When you’re on a tour celebrating a back catalogue of music spanning 40 years what you leave you out must be hard to weigh up especially with a highly expectant audience
But Modfather Paul Weller is less about paying to tradition with a highly mixed bit of the old, more of the new in a two hour 30 song set, which overall left the fans far from disappointed.
Weller knows what he likes and that is making music.
Making a poignant return to Manchester Arena, dedicating his show to all those who lost their lives in last year’s terror attack, the set whilst marking the 40th anniversary of his first album release In The City was also for many a chance to hear his offerings from 13th album release A Kind Revolution
The newer tracks have some of his trademark gravel White Sky (from the 2015 record Saturns Pattern) Woo Sé Mama gives a distinctive nod to Britain’s post punk music scene.
This is my first time seeing Weller live amongst a mostly ageing audience, I’m accompanied by my dad but it seems I was not the only one attuned to the sounds of The Jam through my youth.
The former Jam frontman is genuinely appreciative to those of us who braved the 'Beast of the East' to be there, promising a very long show, ‘so need to be able to get home anyway.’
Rather than a straight passage through time, Weller smashes out tracks in a rock fashion from all corners of his career with The Jam, Style Council and solo efforts before belting out You Do Something To Me in his soulful balladeering mode.
The new stuff in parts is a bit more stripped back ‘The Cranes are Back’and comic rock song ‘Nova’ particularly has a Bowie-esque undertone.
A nice component of the show was a six-song acoustic, a pre-lude to the final, final encore.
Weller closes on the 1982 hit A Town Called Malice much to the delight of the whole arena, which is suddenly very alive even bringing those who were fastened to their seats to their feet, it seems the classics will always triumph.