THERE are plenty of great performers and a fair few can still cut the mustard deep into middle age, but how many are making music every bit as vital and exciting – perhaps even more so – as they did as teenagers?
Paul Weller is one such. He’s been up and down more times than a window cleaner’s chamois – sometimes hitting a sweet spot, other times missing by a mile, but always reaching just beyond his grasp.
He’s very definitely on an up at the moment. His last two albums, the sprawling 22 Dreams and this year’s pared-down Wake Up the Nation, have found him exercising his passion for a sometimes dizzying range of music.
Sunday night’s set drew on every stage of his career, including Art School from The Jam’s 1977 debut album, The Style Council’s Shout to the Top, an edgy trip hop reading of Wild Wood and a brand new song, That Dangerous Age, which channels The Who’s I Can’t Explain.
But the bulk of the two-hour show comes from his most recent output and, helped by a crisp sound mix, finds room for a Doors-ian excursion on Pieces of a Dream, audacious five-part song suite Trees, the rootsy Sea Spray, the dense psychedelia of 7&3 Is the Striker’s Name and Aim High’s invocation of the spirit of Curtis Mayfield.
Such musical plurality is the result of Weller’s open-hearted pursuit of modernist principles and is vindicated as the initially frosty audience warms to Jam gems like Strange Town, Start! and Pretty Green, but reserves equal enthusiasm for more recent hits No Tears To Cry and Come On/Let’s Go.
A barnstorming Town Called Malice sends us out into the cold night, but get this – what comes next could be even more exciting!
photos by Allan Jones
ZANI Media are proud to present, in conjunction with Stuart Deabill and Ian "Snowy" Snowball – authors of Thick As Thieves Personal Situations With The Jam. (Published by Marshall Cavendish – Out now September 2012).
Thick As Thieves is a short and informative documentary on "The Best F****** Band in The World ...THE JAM!”
Fans young and old, including the likes of renowned photographer Grant Fleming and Journalist and Author Garry Bushell, former band associates such as Dennis Munday (Polydor records), Bill Smith (Cover sleeve designer) and many more talk about their passion and experiences with the band, that still means so much to so many people, after their official split in December 1982.
The documentary is directed by Award Winning Film Maker Paolo Sedazzari of Brand New Films.
The idea to capture the essence of the forthcoming book (Thick As Thieves Personal Situations With The Jam) into a documentary came about from a brief telephone conversation between Stuart and ZANI’s editor Matteo Sedazzari.
Fuelled by the energy of The Jam and using Direction, Reaction and Creation as their template, ZANI Media, Stuart Deabill and Ian “Snowy” Snowball decided to use the services of Paolo Sedazzari , and film the people talking about Paul, Bruce and Rick.
In this 25 minute documentary you will see the pure emotion, pride and belief as everyone talks about The Jam. Please give the film a view which may inspire you, as the band has certainly inspired a generation and many more to come.
The conviction to make this documentary is proof that the unity amongst The Jam’s fans is as strong as it was back in the day. Paul Weller’s closing statement on The Jam, “Belief Is All”, best sums up the project.