THE CHANGINGMAN signs off another concert in the career of one of Britain's finest post punk songsmiths.
Weller's constant drive to plough new musical furrows remains unabated, which certainly has to be admired after 40 years, even if at times he doesn't seem to give two figs if he takes his ever-loyal audience with him - a few of who got an unnecessarily expletive-laden mouthful for daring to shout out when he was talking.
A couple of new songs from his forthcoming Saturn's Pattern album were met with a muted response at best, and for a Changingman, there was a distinct sense of deja-vu, and haven't we heard this one before - notably the title-track and new single White Sky. That said other new songs Long Time and These City Streets had more light and shade, and dare one say, were more classic Weller.
Overall the gig itself was standard rather than classic Weller, who, as now has become the norm, switched between guitar and piano. Joined on stage by trusted guitar lieutenant Steve Cradock, a drummer, extra percussionist, bassist and organist, they certainly rocked - straight ahead on the likes of From the Floorboards Up, to extended psych workout Porcelain Gods.
As far as nostalgia went, there was no going back beyond the solo career - which itself now stretches back 23 years - so anyone hoping for Town Called Malice or a Style Council number was left disappointed, although the penultimate Broken Stones certainly proved a crowd pleaser.
It was the sort of gig fans have come to expect from The Changingman.
By Ian Hughes