Paul Weller

Selected by Dan Grunebaum


Freshly cleared of rape charges in connection with an incident in 1996, former Jam and Style Council frontman Paul Weller revisits Japan for a long overdue tour to present his latest album, Heliocentric.

Best known as the "Modfather," and as the leader of the Jam and later the Style Council, Paul Weller had reached the nadir of his career in 1990, without either a band or a record contract for the first time in 13 years. But, influenced by the emerging house and acid jazz movements, he began to write new material, putting together a new band, Paul Weller Movement, in autumn that year.

Debuting with a series of UK tours in ' Paul Weller released his first solo single, "Into Tomorrow," on his own Freedom High label. Dispensing with the "Movement" tag, the Paul Weller band went on to issue their debut album, Paul Weller, in 1991 on Pony Canyon here in Japan, where he has always been accorded a hero's welcome.

With the release of Wild Wood in '94, the singer-songwriter was finally able to reestablish himself in his native UK. The inspired singles "Sunflower" and "The Weaver" reached the charts, while Weller capped his comeback with a euphoric set at the Glastonbury Festival.

Stanley Road, named after the street on which Weller grew up, appeared next, featuring Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher on the single "Walk On Gilded Splinters." The follow-up, Heavy Soul, was issued in 1997, preceding the release of Heliocentric last spring.

"At this stage of the game, it's unlikely that Weller will win any new converts," wrote a reviewer for Q magazine. "In that sense, Heliocentric is probably for the legions of diehards alone, and so, for them, there are many, many delights to be found within this fifth solo album."

A recent April 24 gig at the BBC Radio Theatre in London gave a glimpse of what Tokyo fans can expect in his upcoming solo acoustic tour. Alone on stage, Weller performed songs off Heliocentric as well as fan-pleasing Jam and Style Council classics.

"Incredible," gushed a BBC reviewer. "Reflective, romantic, and, well, just superbly performed."

Paul Weller plays Shibuya AX on July 12 and Akasaka Blitz on July 16. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana