Paul Weller wows with the fantastic Far From Saints at his Thetford Forest Live gig
A light show welcomed Paul Weller to the Forest Live stage in High Lodge, Thetford, last night, in a gig that will stay in my memory for a long time to come.
Having just seen a set from the fantastic Far From Saints (click here for the review on that), we were now in for a treat and a masterclass in doing a gig from, quite frankly, a national treasure.
Having missed out on seeing Paul Weller at the same venue on June 21, 2019, opting to see Madness in Newmarket on that night instead (sorry,Paul), I was excited to see him live.
He took no time at all at in getting the crowd with him, playing Cosmic Fringes from his 2021 album, Fat Pop, straight from walking onto the stage.
Without taking a breath we were straight into From The Floorboards Up, keeping the tempo going and then I’m Where I Should Be.
He then addressed the loving crowd and said he had a long set, which got a huge response from the audience, saying: “It will be full of old songs and new songs and all sorts.”
This started in the form of The Style Council’s My Ever Changing Moods.
The band were smashing the night and Weller was making it look truly effortless.
After a change of guitar, he blasted out his 1993 track, Sunflower, alongside Steve Cradock, of Ocean Colour Scene fame, who has played with Weller since that year.
Weller then let the fans hear a new track that will be out ‘next year’, called Take, which the crowd just lapped up.
A change to acoustic, then saw Headstart For Happiness from The Style Council, before one of his many stints on the piano during the night, saw Weller play the blues-sounding Stanley Road, the title track of his same-titled album that came out 28 years.
We were truly being treated to a session covering his huge and memorable body of work.
Track after track just flowed from the stage and we all, as a collective, did not want this to end.
The chilled track Village and the sing-a-long classic Wild Wood followed, with Paul, again rattling the keys, saying before he played the latter that it was 'something appropriate for when you go to get your cars later'.
If the party hadn’t started for some already, The Style Council’s Shout To The Top got the rest up and dancing.
The piano-led It’s A Very Deep Sea, had people swaying alone or with the ones they love and just showed how the magnificent frontman had the place in the palm of his hand and could turn the emotions of the captivated audience at will.
But the end was drawing near, and with a huge jamming session at the end, the band left the stage, but not for long and smashed out their encores.
As the darkness finally took hold of the forest, the massive sing-a-long to The Changingman must have been heard for miles – that iconic track being let out into the woods was a real treat.
Porcelain Gods followed, and with the music master calling out 'Anymore for anymore?’, he went on to play Broken Stones – just wow – and You Do Something To Me.
Tracks like those make these Forest Live nights special and this was already becoming one of THOSE gigs, before he went and topped it off.
The Jam’s A Town of Malice was epic and the perfect finish with gig goers singing that back to their cars.
I’ve been to two Glastonbury Festivals seeing the likes of David Bowie and REM, Radiohead at Sydney Entertainment Centre in Australia and this set and this night will truly go in and amongst the list of the best gig nights I have ever had – without a doubt.