Review: Paul Weller, Piece Hall, Halifax

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)
Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

MAYBE it was the magical surroundings of a 300-year-old industrial treasure; maybe it was the summer vibe. Whatever the reason, Paul Weller's Piece Hall concert was something truly special.

Halifax isn't exactly known for its rock and roll credentials but the Piece Hall's new role as a venue - and not too far away for East Lancashire gig goers - could certainly change all that.

It's a spectacular setting and Weller and his mighty band certainly did it justice.

 

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)
Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

 

This was a man very much at ease with life - I've seen the Modfather on a number of occasions over the years and this was the most relaxed on stage I've seen him.

The setlist too reflected a performer totally confident in his achievements with the 26-song set covering his days with The Jam, The Style Council plus his solo career including his most recent album Fat Pop.

He and his band seemed to be on a mission to entertain from the outset, launching into a Saturn's Pattern double bill of White Sky and Long Time.

 

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)
Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

 

With trusty sidekick Steve Craddock wielding his guitar as only he can and a line-up including two drummers, the sound was at times epic and at others intimate.

The beautifully judged set delighted the 5,000 crowd - many of whom had clearly been fans from the early days of the Jam.

Weller moved effortlessly from guitar to piano and his voice had a warmth and richness to it.

To pick out highlights is difficult as there were so many - it was that kind of show. But Broken Stones from Stanley Road and Village from the On Sunset album were particularly effective. And any time Paul Weller throws himself into a Jam song with gusto, you can't fail to be moved - That's Entertainment and A Town Called Malice would have taken the roof off the Piece Hall had it ever had one.

 

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)
Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

Paul Weller at the Piece Hall, Halifax (Picture: Cuffe and Taylor/The Piece Hall Trust)

 

A word too about support band Stone Foundation who were the perfect appetiser for Weller's main course.

With a superb horn section and led by the charismatic Neil Jones, Stone Foundation are breathing new life into traditional soul. Regular collaborators with Paul Weller they won themselves a whole lot of new fans with a dynamic and fun set.

Paul Weller headlines Lytham Festival on Sunday