Weller, Paul : London Hyde Park Route Of Kings

...when you go and see the Modfather, you've got to pay your respects...

There are those who consider Paul Weller and his muso rock carpentry to be not so much over the hill as a tiny speck in the far distance. Yet, despite having forever lost his iron grip on the mindset of a generation, Weller retains a fearsome spell over his peers. Death In Vegas organist Seamus Beaghen applies some liquid keys this evening, and, when a louche looking Kelly Jones saunters on during the encore for a raucous ‘Call Me No.5’ you can almost forgive him for his lugubrious approach to his day job.

But then, this is family. If Weller chose to slip in a tune from twenty years ago tonight, there’s a good chance half the crowd would know every word. As it is, new songs are treated with the same gritted-teeth tolerance levels of a policeman wandering into a Coral rehearsal. You know when he’s playing an old song by the vast shower of beer that rains from the heavens.

At times he’s mercurial. A sabre-rattling ‘Into Tomorrow’ revises former glories, whilst when he leads a goose-pimple inducing rendition of ‘Wildwood’, even the stewards sing along.

As the crowd files out, an impromptu chant of “there’s only one Paul Weller” sweeps through the darkness. After all, when you go and see the Modfather, you’ve got to pay your respects.

Jason Fox