Paul Weller at Osborne House
Review From This Is Hampshire
QUEEN Victoria’s Island holiday home made a fittingly regal setting for a performance by one of the kings of British rock.
Admittedly the sound of Establishment-baiting Jam classics ringing out across the manicured grounds must have had the empire-ruling monarch spinning in her grave.
But for the hundreds of music fans packed on to the stately pile’s back lawn, the combination of glorious summer sunshine and one of pop’s classiest back catalogues was irresistible.
Following a punchy warm-up by Walthamstow indie-rockers The Rifles, wearing their Jam and Clash influences with pride,Weller got stuck straight in with The Changingman – one of several numbers lifted from his 1995 solo album Stanley Road, an acknowledged career highpoint.
Looking good at 50 and still sporting his trademark feather cut barnet, the Modfather delivered a crowd-pleasing set made up of past glories and more recent material, including tracks from his new album 22 Dreams.
The audience’s hardcore Weller fans stood out a mile in their drainpipes and Fred Perry T-shirts. But both they and the picnic hamper brigade lapped up a 90-minute performance spanning everything from late 70s guitar classics to his looser, more soulful material of the 90s.
Standouts included a beautifully chilled Wild Wood, wedding favourite You Do Something To Me and a cover of the Rose Royce song Wishing On A Star.
But for all the critical acclaim heaped on Weller’s solo material, it’s those Jam-era foot-stompers that really get the adrenaline pumping. So not entirely unpredictably, the thrilling crackle of The Eton Rifles blazing away over East Cowes provided the most memorable moment of an excellent show.