Paul Weller, Forest Live review: Now that’s entertainment!
- Credit: Archant
It's 15 years since Paul Weller first made his debut at Thetford Forest.
He played to a sell-out audience in 2004 and has packed them in every time he's been back in the woods.
Friday night at High Lodge was no different in terms of his enduring appeal to music fans as 9000 turned on a beautiful midsummer's night.
Weller repaid the loyalty with a gig out of the very top drawer.
He and every member of his band were simply magnificent.
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Weller is rightly recognised as one of the most significant figures in the British musis scene over past four decades.
The forest gig encapsulated exactly why.
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Weller doesn't bother with too much small talk with the fans.
From the second he entered the stage and hit his first note to two hours later when the crowd was going wild at the end of A Town Called Malice after a second encore, Weller was relentless in his brilliance.
Despite a career spanning 42 years, his voice remains amazingly powerful and untainted by the years (and the odd fag - and yes he did have a cheeky puff during a drumming solo).
Weller took fans on a journey through his years of producing a wide range of superb music from Strange Museum off his first solo album to What You Give Is What You Get, Move On Up and That's Entertainment from his Jam days.
And my word That's Entertainment certainly summed up the night.
The crowd was treated to an excellent support act set by Stone Foundation.
The R&B band is touring the summer outdoor series with Weller and recorded their latest album in his studio, and he has appeared on several of their tracks.
There are clear influences from Weller - especially from his Style Council days - in Stone Foundation's material and will be well worth seeing when they come to Norwich's Waterfront in November.
*The Paul Weller gig was part of Forestry England's Forest Live concert series, which started on Thursday with The Foals in front of 4500 people and continues on Saturday with Jess Glynne and ends on Sunday with Stereophonics, both which will be attended by more than 9000 fans.