Paul Weller heralded by Virgin’s Richard Branson as he plays V Festival

Virgin boss introduces 'The Modfather' onstage at Chelmsford

Paul Weller was given an extra special welcome to V Festival this evening (August 21) as he returned to the event he helped kick off in 1996.

Before taking to the V Stage in Chelmsford, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson addressed the crowd to introduce the singer.

“It gives me great pleasure to introduce the next band,” a nervous-looking Branson told the audience. “Fifteen years ago he headlined the very first V Festival, ladies and gentlemen The Modfather!”

Weller and his band then took over, saying little as he treated fans to a selection of songs that spanned from his early days with The Jam right up to his Mercury Prize-nominated recent album ‘Wake Up The Nation’.

The Jam tracks included a rocked up version of ‘That’s Entertainment’, ‘Start!’ and ‘Art School’, while The Style Council‘s ‘Shout To The Top’ also featured.

Moving onto his solo releases, Weller played 1995 single ‘You Do Something To Me’ as a “special request” and a version of ‘Wild Wood’ which, as at recent gigs, took its lead from the bass-heavy Portishead remix of the track.

Paul Weller played:

‘From The Floorboards Up’
‘Wake Up The Nation’
‘That’s Entertainment’
‘No Tears To Cry’
‘The Changingman’
‘Up The Dosage’
‘Aim High’
‘Shout To The Top’
‘You Do Something To Me’
‘Pieces Of A Dream’
‘Wild Wood’
‘Fast Car/Slow Traffic’
‘Art School’
‘Whirlpool’s End’

NME is coming live from both V Festival sites this weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals for full coverage. Plus make sure you buy next week’s issue of NME to get the definitive review of V Festival, either on UK newstands from August 25 or available digitally worldwide.