PAUL WELLER // EDINBURGH CASTLE ESPLANADE, EDINBUGH

PAUL WELLER ROUNDS OFF HIS MINI SUMMER TOUR WITH SPECTACULAR SHOW IN THE CAPITAL

PAUL WELLER PERFORMING AT EDINBURGH CASTLE - 11.07.2019
PICTURE BY: | CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★★★ (5/5)

Paul Weller and his band return to the picturesque surroundings of Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade to finish off the mini summer tour, and shake the ramparts for the 1st time since 2013, and they wrap things up with a stunning show. All the big hits, solo, The Jam and The Style Council, played with an intense passion and energy which could put some half his age to shame. A 2 hour show, 26 tracks and no one could say they werent catered for at the close of play.

1st up tonight were the now regular support The Stone Foundation. The band have been making their mark and spreading their brand of music to the masses over the past few years, but recently getting more recognition, mainly thanks to the influence of Paul Weller, having recorded their last couple of albums at his Black Barn studios, and having him guest on them plus assisting on the production, so it seems fitting that they support him on this tour. They are a cracking bunch of lads, and the music they make is sublime. It has soul, it has blues, there are hints of Stax, Motown, R&B and Northern Soul, their recent release Street Rituals (a fantastic album if you havent heard it) could be the album The Style Council never made. Tracks played this evening included songs such as The Limit Of A Man, Next Time Around and Carry The News, with a cover of Ann Peebles’ Im Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down wrapping up their short set, and they had the crowd on their feet. Im sure many new fans would be made on this showing, and they are definitely a band worth seeing in their own right. Touring the Uk later in the year, do yourself a favour, grab a ticket and treat yourself.

Now onto the headliner. What more can you say about Paul Weller? Now in his 61st year, and 43rd year of making music, he just continues to churn out classic after classic. Tonights setlist of 26 tracks delved deeply in his extensive back catalogue, and included tracks from the 1980 Jam album Sound Affects and 1982’s The GIft, through to The Style Council’s first couple of albums, to his first and self titled debut solo album, carrying on into Stanley Road, Heavy Soul, As Is Now, and the most recent recordings Saturns Pattern and A Kind Revolution. Something for everyone, for fans old and new. You couldnt argue with the setlist.

The huge crowd gathered at the iconic venue of Edinburgh Castle were rather subdued as Weller took to the stage, but they werent long in getting their act together. My Ever Changing Moods, The Man In the Cornershop, From The Floorboards Up, the big hitters kept coming, some being slightly reworked, rejigged and a wee lyric change here and there, keeping them fresh, and maybe introducing some to his previous work they may not have heard live before. As is always the case when Weller goes on tour, his fans from all over congregate, some having followed from the very early days. The loyal fanbase always chip in when the singalong songs start and tonight was no exception. Tonight saw a welcome return to the setlist for Out Of The Sinking, Wild Wood and Can You Heal Us Holy Man, with classic footstompers Woo Se Mama, Thats Entertainment and Shout To The Top guaranteed to get the crowd moving and testing the old (and new) vocal chords. Maybe though its time to give You Do Something To Me a wee rest for a tour or two? Friday Street followed by a cracking Into Tomorrow showcased the unquestionable talents of drummer Steve Pilgrim and right hand man Steve Cradock from Ocean Colour Scene, both tremendous musicians. Peacock Suit, one of the singles from 1997’s Heavy Soul, closed the first section of the show and the band, also including Andy Crofts on bass, Tom Van Heel on keyboards and Ben Gordelier on percussion left for a well deserved break.

As they re-entered the stage, a 5 track encore ensued. Title track from the album Saturns Pattern then singalong classsic Broken Stones came next before a mini Jam session closed the evening with Start!, Precious, merging into Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up (covered by The Jam in 1982) and the icing on the cake, a rousing Town Called Malice. Weller and his band joined as one, took their bows and the evening was over.

The flocks who gathered for The Modfather and his band could have no complaints other than the uncomfortable seats in the castle esplanade, but when your standing or dancing enjoying the music of one of Britains top singer songwriters, the seats are only somewhere to hang your parka anyway. By no means the best venue ever to play host to a big concert like this, but a fantastic evening of music none the less, Weller and his band were on top form as always, 26 songs and 2 hours of Fire and Skill. Now THAT is entertainment.

SETLIST: | PAUL WELLER : EDINBURGH CASTLE ESPLANADE, EDINBURGH - 11.07.2019

  • I’m Where I Should Be

  • My Ever Changing Moods - (The Style Council song)

  • Long Time

  • Main in the Corner Shop - (The Jam song)

  • From the Floorboards Up

  • Out of the Sinking

  • Wild Wood

  • That’s Entertainment - (The Jam song)

  • Mermaids

  • Brushed

  • Strange Museum

  • Can You Heal Us (Holy Man) - (with Stone Foundation on stage)

  • Woo Se Mama

  • You Do Something to Me

  • Have You Ever Had It Blue - (The Style Council song)

  • Shout to the Top! - (The Style Council song)

  • Hung Up

  • Above the Clouds

  • Friday Street

  • Into Tomorrow

  • Peacock Suit - (with Stone Foundation on stage)

ENCORE:

  • Saturns Pattern

  • Broken Stones

  • Start! - (The Jam song) - (with Stone Foundation on stage)

  • Precious - (The Jam song) - (with Stone Foundation on stage)

  • Move On Up - (Curtis Mayfield cover) - (with Stone Foundation on stage)

  • Town Called Malice - (The Jam song)

REVIEW BY: | STEPHEN WILSON
PHOTOS BY: | LEANNA TANNER PHOTOGRAPHY

Stephen Wilson