Weller, Weller, Weller ... tell me more!

Leeds-bound Paul Weller
Leeds-bound Paul Weller
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Paul Weller fans In The City are counting down days to The Modfather's latest Leeds show.

Followers of arguably his generation's greatest singer-songwriter, subject here of timely quiz, can Start! to anticipate his February 23 First Direct Arena gig.

The Jam and The Style Council former frontman's impressively eclectic back catalogue, complemented by tracks from 13th solo studio LP, will be showcased in some style as part of Friday's eagerly awaited set.

A Kind Revolution album was released to widespread plaudits 40 years, almost to the day, since his ground-breaking band's "In The City" debut disc.

For most artists such a landmark would be greeted with extensive retrospective celebrations, lavish reissues and all that jazz.

But Weller is not like most artists, always moving forward, almost clinically averse to nostalgia or checking his progress in retrospective rear-view mirror.

He instead tickled out funky strut of "New York” and beautiful slow-mo gospel of (sampled here) “The Cranes Are Back” - a song seamlessly linking changing face of London with power of nature, whose lyric gave the album its title.

Musicians on the album featured most of visiting band faithful with Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier being top mainstays. Steve Cradock and Steve Pilgrim also featuring on several tracks.

Opening song “Woo Sé Mama” saw legendary soul singers PP Arnold & Madeleine Bell supply distinctive vocal skills while exceedingly funky “One Tear” features unmistakable voice of one and only Boy George.

He even managed to lure Robert Wyatt out of retirement to sing and play trumpet on “She Moves With The Fayre”. Finally, once again, The Strypes’ guitarist Josh McClorey was drafted in to add his magic to three tracks.

“A Kind Revolution” featured ten absolute classic modern Paul Weller songs. Two great examples are most reflective contemplative songs “Long Long Road” and “Hopper”, which in lesser hands might have been delivered as ballads, but Weller added so much texture and colour to each they defied categorisation.

The Daily Telegraph recently wrote of Weller: "Apart from David Bowie, it's hard to think of any British solo artist who's had as varied, long-lasting and determinedly forward-looking a career".

BBC bosses hailed him "one of the most revered music writers and performers of the past 30 years" while 2012 saw him among British cultural icons chosen by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in celebratory new version of arguably his most famous artwork, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

Winner of four Brit Awards, including Best British Male twice and Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, Weller remains among hardest grafting men in music.

The venue, on Arena Way, Leeds, LS2 8BY, is contactable on 0844 248 1585. Watch this space for full review of the man, sure to soon put some joy into a city called Leeds.

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