Paul Weller back at Genting Arena after Beast from the East delay – review and pictures
"Sorry about last time, but you are all back and that's good," Paul Weller told fans at Birmingham's packed Genting Arena.
The Modfather delivered a cracking and crisp set of songs from throughout his long career last night to make up for the long wait for the show, which fell victim to the Beast from the East on March 2.
The recently turned 60 star was in great form vocally as he and his five-strong band, including Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock on guitar and Andy Crofts on bass, powered through a main set full of songs from last album A Kind Revolution.
The still stylish Weller, looking lean and fit, opened with White Sky and old favourite Sunflower, followed by Nova and then Style Council classic My Ever Changing Moods.
No songs from next album True Meanings – to be released on September 14 – featured.
He removed his natty blue and white striped jacket and played the rest of the show in T-shirt as the band launched into The Jam's Man in the Corner Shop, which sent his diehard fans wild.
The 22-song set included a crowd-pleasing Woo Se Mama, another Style Council favourite Shout to the Top and loads of Weller's best solo songs like Friday Street, Above the Clouds, Into Tomorrow and Peacock Suit.
It seemed no time at all until a brilliant The Changingman brought the 90-minute tour de force to a close.
Fans did not have long to wait for Weller and the band to return for a fantastic six-song encore that featured The Style Council's Have You Ever Had It Blue, a superb Wild Wood, a storming deliver of The Jam's That's Entertainment, Broken Stones, You Do Something to Me and finally a thrilling performance of another Jam diamond in Start!
The Genting Arena would not let Weller go and a bonus of The Jam's angry Town Called Malice finished a perfect night for fans of the now grey-haired Woking wonder.
Stone Foundation opened the night with a set featuring lots of soul-tinged, horn-heavy songs from their fifth studio album Everybody, Anyone, which features piano, guitar and backing vocals from Weller and had just been released on the day.
Singer and guitarist Neil Jones led the tight eight-piece group, who were very comfortable on home ground, in great style and the arena floor was full of dancing fans. Only You Can and Don't Walk Away were highlights with a romp through Simplify the Situation to finish.