Paul Weller announces 2018 dates, ignores 40th anniversary of the release of his first album
- Alex Johnston
- 30 March 2017
Godfather of Britrock to release his 13th studio album later this year
Paul Weller continues to cement his reputation as the increasingly craggy-faced, stern-browed godfather of all British people who have ever picked up electric guitars ever, adding UK arena dates in 2018 to a hefty live schedule that already had him touring the UK and Europe into September. The singer-songwriter, who has been described as 'a man almost clinically averse to nostalgia', is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of his first album – The Jam's In The City – by doing absolutely nothing, except releasing his 13th studio album A Kind Revolution and playing lots of gigs to his adoring fans.
Weller is not much of a man to hark back to past glories; not his own, anyway. The Jam made it big by channelling into a punk rock format the spirit and look of Mod groups such as The Who and the Small Faces. The Style Council were very much part of the 80s revival of interest in classic soul music, and when Weller roared back in the early/mid 90s, it was with guitar-heavy songs such as 'Sunflower' and 'The Changingman' that hinted that he'd been listening to a lot of early 70s rock. Paul Weller does love his rock history references: this is a man whose youngest children, five-year-old twins, are named John Paul and Bowie. (He also has a daughter called Dylan and a son called Stevie Mac. You gotta wonder.)
In more recent years, he's become something of a Mr Reliable (the writer Jon Savage referred to him as Paul Welder) but he's still capable of surprise: 2008's 22 Dreams contained some barmy but pleasing stylistic swerves and a single, 'Echoes Round the Sun', which featured Noel Gallagher fulfilling his potential in this life as Paul Weller's bass player. Subsequent albums have confirmed his practice: old-school Weller-style songwriting with an excursion here into dub, there into noise, now and again flirting with EDM, piano balladry or stomping rock.
Perhaps becoming a father for the sixth time will have made a mellow Weller; perhaps the UK and the US's swerves into political crazyland will have galvanised him. Only time will tell.
Paul Weller is on tour in the UK until Thu 13 Apr, and plays the SSE Hydro, Glasgow on Sun 25 Feb 2018 as part of a Feb--Mar UK tour. A Kind Revolution is released on Thu 25 May 2017.