THE biggest show of the year at King George's Hall more than lived up to its billing last night.
Paul Weller turned in a powerful and at times soulful performance, the work of a man at the height of his powers - and one who was clearly relishing performing in a more intimate venues than the arenas he normally frequents these days.
This was truly a special night and not just for the fact that the sold-out show broke all records at the venue - the largest attendance and the highest grossing box office receipts for any single gig. From the outset Weller attacked the show like a man half his age. After just two songs, the jacket - immaculately tailored naturally - was thrown off and the energy levels never dropped.
Backed by a great five-piece band including long term sidekick Steve Cradock on guitar, Weller showcased a number of songs from his forthcoming album Saturn's Pattern and the signs are that he's once again come up with a minor classic.
With a career spanning over 35 years there's no way Weller can ever satisfy all the fans by playing their own particular favourites. But it's a testament to the quality of his song-writing that a set liberally sprinkled with new material kept the swaying mass enthralled throughout.
As he sat behind the keyboards and introduced You Do Something To Me as "something from the last century" a wall of camera phones shot into the air.
Songs from Stanley Road and 22 Dreams were also given an airing. After two encores and a finale of Changing Man it was all over.
In Weller terms this was an intimate evening. For the audience it was simply a special one.