Paul Weller (born John William Weller, 25.5.1958)
Paul Weller is an English singer / songwriter, who first found fame in the punk era, as the singer and guitarist in The Jam.
Childhood: Paul Weller was born in Woking, England in a working class neighbourhood. He was brought up in Stanley Road; the street name was later used for the title of one of Weller's solo albums.
Paul wanted to form a band from the age of around 10 and aged 12, he was given a guitar by his family and he learned to play along with the music that he listened to. At 14, he played his first gig with his friend Steve Brooks at the Walton Road Working Men's Club.
The Jam: The Jam played in the lunch hour at their school and the interest shown by the female pupils made Weller realise that a career in music could be quite a tantalizing prospect! The band, with Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler alongside Brookes and Weller, continued to play around Surrey and London, managed by Weller's father. Their popularity grew; notable when they were booked to play at the Red Cow in Hammersmith, with queues forming around the block to see them play.
In 1977, Polydor Records signed the Jam for £6,000. Later that year, they appeared on Top of the Pops, the show that Paul Weller used to watch avidly as a child. Although they rose to fame at the same time that the punk scene was popularized, The Jam were never a part of the London clique and were more akin to the 'new-wave' style of bands that followed punk bands like The Sex Pistols.
The Clash was one London band that did take notice of The Jam though, and took them on their White Riot tour in 1977. Eventually, the Jam outsold The Clash in terms of UK singles sales and went on to be the more successful of the two bands. The Jam's first venture into the UK Top 40 was 'In The City', released in May 1977. 'Eton Rifles' was the first of their singles to reach the Top 10, reaching number three in 1979. The next year, 'Going Underground' reached number one. This achievement was followed with 'Start!' and 'Town Called Malice.'
In 1982, it was announced that The Jam would be splitting up. 'Beat Surrender', their fourth number one, was their last ever single. Their final concert, at the Brighton Centre, was a sell-out.
The Style Council: Weller formed The Style Council in 1983, with keyboardist Mick Talbot and Steve White, who has continued to play with Weller ever since.
Weller's new band was not as commercially successful as The Jam, yet Paul Weller's public profile continued to grow. Weller appeared on the charity record, Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (he was filmed miming Bono's part on Top of the Pops, as the U2 singer was unavailable) and The Style Council played at the huge Live Aid event at Wembley in 1985.
The Style Council's popularity in the UK began to decrease throughout the 1980s and in 1989, their record label refused to release their fifth album, Modernism: A New Decade. Later that year, Weller broke up the band.
Solo career: A few years after The Style Council split, Paul Weller returned, with Steve White, firstly as The Paul Weller Movement, then simply as Paul Weller. He became a frontrunner of the 1990's 'Britpop' movement, along with the likes of Blur and Oasis. His first solo album was Paul Weller.
The album's follow-up, Wild Wood, is considered by many to be one of Weller's finest moments and Stanley Road, his third solo outing, became the biggest selling album of his career. 'The Changingman', a single from the album, reached number seven in the UK singles charts. Next up, the Heavy Soul album, reached number two in the album charts and in 2000, Weller released Heliocentric. At the time, there were rumours that this would be his final studio album but two years later, he released the number one album, Illumination. 'It's Written In the Stars', taken from the album, was a top 10 single. In 2004, Weller released Studio 150, a covers album, followed a year later by As Is Now. In 2008, Weller's new album, 22 Dreams will be released.
This week, The Killers frontman dominated the chart all on his own.
After taking over London in a series of gigs this week, Brandon Flowers has also conquered the UK Charts. His second solo album, The Desired Effect, now sits pretty at the top of the album chart. It was a close race between Flowers and fellow indie frontman Paul Weller, but eventually Flowers’ album finished 5,000 combined chart sales ahead of the rock veteran.
Flowers and his shiny jacket took over the UK charts this week.
Flowers played one date in Dublin and two at London’s O2 Academy in the past week. In the next few days, the tour will hit Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham.
Continue reading: This Week's Album Charts: Brandon Flowers, Paul Weller, Sam Smith
But there’s no stopping OMI’s ‘Cheerleader’ in the single’s chart.
The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers has scored his second UK number one solo album after The Desired Effect went straight to the top of the charts this weekend. Flowers’ previous solo offering, Flamingo, took the top spot in 2010, while The Killers’ have scored four number one albums in their career so far.
Flowers has topped the UK album chart for the second time.
Flowers outsold his closet rival Paul Weller by just 5,000 sales with the Jam frontman’s Saturn’s Pattern entering in the number two spot. In the number three position was last weeks chart topper Mumford & Sons with Wilder Mind, which slipped two places, while Taylor Swift’s 1989 enjoyed its 30th week in the top 100 at the number four spot.
Continue reading: Brandon Flowers Tops UK Albums Chart With 'The Desired Effect'
Paul Weller - Photographs of stars as they arrive at the launch party for Real Stars are Rare, a new menswear label from Paul Weller at Somerset House, London. - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 8th October 2014
Paul Weller has won damages from Mail Online.
Singer-songwriter Paul Walker has won £10,000 in damages from Mail Online after complaining that the website "plastered" pictures of his children in a story in October 2012. The High Court in London ordered Associated Newspapers to pay the amount in relation to its story that bore the headline: A family day out: Paul Weller takes wife Hannah and his twin sons out for a spot of shopping in the hot LA sun.
Paul Weller Performing in Holland
Weller and his wife Hannah descried the photos as "plainly voyeuristic". The couple sued the Daily Mail's publishers for misuse of private information on behalf of their daughter Dylan, who was 16 at the time, and twin sons John-Paul and Bowie - who were 10 months.
Continue reading: Mail Online Pay Paul Weller £10,000 Over Paparazzi Photographs
Hard Rock Calling 2013 did not disappoint with performances from Bruce Springsteen, Kasabian and The Jam.
In Somerset, Glastonbury was in full swing but further East a different festival drew its own thousands. Rock fans flocked to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London's Stratford to attend Hard Rock Calling: a two day festival hosting massive names in rock 'n' roll. Held in a pop-up venue at the site of the London 2012 Olympic Games Basketball venue, the festival welcomed Leicester's Kasabian, USA performer Bruce Springsteen and special guests; mod rock band, The Jam.
Bruce Springsteen Brought Down The House.
Kasabian enjoyed a successful Saturday night headlining slot, helping to christen the venue for a festival that began in 2006, with trumpet and violin-playing women and a cover of The Beatles' 'She Loves You' performed by lead singer Tom Meighan without any instrumental accompaniment. Busy bees Alabama Shakes managed to fit both festivals into the same weekend, playing Glasto on Friday then Hard Rock Calling on Sunday. Springsteen AKA The Boss certainly didn't let anyone down, according to the East London Advertiser, with the 65 year-old playing his 80s album Born In The USA in its entirety, accompanied by his E Street Band and even serenading his mother with 'Dancing in the Dark' onstage in front of 40,000 fans.
Special events planned for a day of competitive record shopping
Record Store Day (Saturday April 20, 2013) is the day when sport and music retail collide. If you consider ‘competitive vinyl purchasing’ a sport, of course. A veritable one-day Olympics for music nerds and vinyl enthusiasts, Record Store Day is a pretty sophisticated feat of organisation – where record labels, stores, gig promoters and artists across the world combine to create a smorgasbord of exclusive releases, limited editions and one-off performances and collaborations. Frankly, the very thought of it is enough to make you weep. Pity the poor music fan that arrives outside their local record store 3 hours before it opens, only to discovers that their retail rivals have all been camping over night… Or the nerd that queues patiently at the record store counter, only to see the last of those limited edition, screen-printed, green vinyl gatefold go to the pushy dude in front. Record Store Day. It’s stressful.
Luckily, to take away from the stress of it all, there are also some fun things occurring, to lower the heart rate a little. Paul Weller will be performing live at London’s Rough Trade record store in East London, for a start (8pm, Saturday). He’ll be joined by Pete O’Hanlon and Josh McClorey of new band The Strypes as well as Miles Kane’s drummer, Jay Sharrock, NME report.
Two much-hyped British bands, Toy and Temples will be playing in Paris (they call it Disquare Day because they’re hipper than we’ll ever be, you know). They’ll be joined by Stealing Sheep and Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs.
Continue reading: Exclusive Paul Weller Gig Planned At Rough Trade For Record Store Day
Britpop rivals perform together for Teenage Cancer Trust
Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn put their notorious Britpop feud behind them this weekend to perform onstage together in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts that Noel was charged with curating. In the heady days of 90s Britpop, the two musicians’ former bands were pitted against each other by the UK music press and frankly, they did little to dispel the drama. Gallagher famously wished death on Albarn and when their singles ‘Country House’ (Blur) and ‘Roll With It’ (Oasis) were released on the same day in 1995, music fans were forced to take sides.
The water is well and truly under the bridge now, though, as Noel and Damon joined each other onstage at the Royal Albert Hall show and performed Blur’s ‘Tender,’ with Noel on backing vocals. They were joined by Paul Weller on drums, though according to the Evening Standard, he played “as though he’d never seen a kit before.” In fact, the concert itself was relatively unremarkable, other than the momentous occasion of seeing Noel and Damon singing together – a sight that once seemed an impossible feat.
Noel’s own performance still has him pegged as a “work in progress” when it comes to taking the role of frontman, in The Guardian’s review. And at £75 a ticket though, most of Gallagher’s fans were probably hoping it would have been his brother Liam with whom he had reunited onstage.
Albums of Note... Deftly side-stepping the pitfalls of ‘second album syndrome,’ Everything Everything have stepped things up a notch with second album Arc, which looks set to raise their profile even further. They’ve retained their quirky dance geek sound, but this time around, the songs have a darker, more emotional sound. Where their debut was playful, a newfound intensity can be found on this follow-up. “Arc offers more drama and intensity than the playful-ness we heard on Man Alive, Everything Everything's 2010-released debut… each track stands in its own right; nothing is filler and Arc maintains interest throughout; it's a much more mature offering than Everything Everything's previous, particularly with the likes of the gentle, piano-backed 'The Peaks, which sensitively showcases their trademark falsetto vocals in an atmospheric setting.”
Paul Weller’s latest release, the ‘Dragonfly EP’ is described by our reviewer as a “victory lap.” The EP contains a number of unreleased tracks from the Modfather’s trilogy of experimental albums released in 2012. Described as “by no means essential for the casual fan,” the tracks contained herein are a step away from the sonic experimentation of the albums and are closer to his early solo days.“The Dragonfly EP is therefore well worth your time if you have any interest in Weller's more recent output. However, for the more casual listener, it may seem like it's business as usual for the Modfather. The 5 additional songs certainly deserve to be heard, and it's a welcome move that they haven't just ended up on the cutting room floor.”
Paul Weller's new EP Dragonfly is essentially a victory lap. Following his trilogy of experimental albums that concluded with Sonik Kicks earlier this year, the Modfather has bundled a number of unreleased songs from the sessions for that record into a limited run release that's arrived just in time for Christmas. Available to download or on a pressing of just 3,000 vinyl copies Dragonfly is an interesting companion to its parent album, although it's by no means essential for the casual fan.
While the title track is reflective of much of the Sonik Kicks material with its up-tempo swirling guitars and urgent drumbeat, the remaining 5 songs here are far more sedate. They bring to mind Weller's earlier solo material, and reveal just how far he's moved forward from acoustic compositions that provide the perfect soundtrack to a hazy summer afternoon. As these are songs that didn't make the record itself, they also show just how selective Weller has been when compiling his recent albums.
Don't be fooled though, these aren't half finished cast offs or aborted ideas. Instead, they just don't fit comfortably elsewhere. While there's less emphasis on sonic experimentation, Weller has plenty of things to say in his lyrics. 'Lay Down Your Weary Burden' sounds as if it's a love letter to his more anger fuelled punk roots: "You may think your hate has us trembling in our shoes, but no-one really cares, it's only you hurting you." That reflective mood continues on 'Portal To The Past' when he says: "As I dive through the portal of my youth, for as quick as it comes, is as quick as it goes." In many ways these songs serve to bookend Weller's recent albums. They seem to be signposting that he's now ready to look forward rather than back, having reconciled the nostalgia demonstrated on recent tracks like 'Fast Car/Slow Traffic'.
Continue reading: Paul Weller - Dragonfly EP Review
It’s a mixed bag for UK albums, as the release schedule starts to slow in preparation for the big race for the Christmas sales market. This week, Jake Bugg toppled Mumford & Sons from what looked to be a pretty comfortable reign at the top of the albums chart. But can he stay there for a second week or do any of this week’s releases have what to takes to shift him?
The strongest competition for Jake will be coming from across the pond, in the shape of the fourth studio album from Taylor Swift entitled Red.
She performed on the X Factor results show here last weekend and her last album, 2010’s Speak Now reached number six. Her profile has increased considerably since then, though – thanks in no small part to her contribution to the Hunger Games soundtrack. If anyone can shift Bugg from the top spot, we reckon it’s Taylor.