I thought I might have been being greedy and wasteful, going to see Paul Weller in Melbourne. It cost a bit, and I'd already enjoyed a great night in Adelaide the week before. Perhaps I should have been satisfied with my lot. Having said that, the quality of the Adelaide gig probably encouraged me to think that it was the right decision to travel across. What the hell, you're only here once.
Without any shadow of a doubt, it turned out to be money very well spent.
We got to The Forum pretty early, and entered as soon as they opened the doors. We had a pint, caught up with some people we knew, and then milled around the empty space. We contemplated sitting down for the show, but we couldn't help ourselves. Being early meant we could get up to the stage without any problems, and we started our evening about four people deep. Given that a few people's desire to push in was greater then my desire to fight (zero), we ended up about seven deep. No problem, we're all friends. I did take exception to one individual though. He was the antithesis of your typical Paul Weller punter; dirty, smelly, hairy, and there on a free ticket with his horrible missus. I don't mind a bit of contact in the close-quarters of a gig crowd, but this plank was out of order. The two of them were pushing in, lurching all over the place, annoying everyone and, once I'd reached breaking point, I gave him an almighty shove. This was followed by a few verbals and, although the apeman was threatening all sorts, he didn't touch me (or look at me) again all night. Tosser.
On the positive side, I met a top bloke from New Zealand who had travelled over with his wife especially for the gig, all booked and paid for a day before Weller announced he would head over to NZ after his Australian tour. He didn't care; he was made up just to be at the concert.
The show was brilliant. Loads of different songs from the Adelaide performance: Peacock suit, From the floorboards up, Paper chase, Echoes round the sun, Scrape away, and one of my all time favourites: Strange town. Heady stuff. It was good and loud, and the crowd were into it. It wasn't too mental where we were but there was plenty of good natured bumping and swaying, clapping and singing. So many Weller fans, most of which have been listening for 30 years or more. Pretty green, Start!, That's entertainment, even Art school, for god's sake. You can imagine the good vibe. And it's not all about yesterday - most of the material from the last two albums holds up very well. There was barely a flat spot in the whole performance. Maybe when the great man's chewing gum slipped from his mouth and onto his guitar...
After a prolonged wait for a third encore that didn't eventuate, we emerged, a little sweaty and a bit knackered, from the theatre. Blokes were selling knock off t-shirts in the lane outside; I decided not to bother. The pub on the corner was shut so it was back to the room and time for a cup of tea.
Deep down inside I wished I was going again tonight...
Set list- Oct 26 2010
1. Peacock Suit (Heavy soul)
2. 7 & 3 is the striker's name (Wake up the nation)
3. From the floorboards up (As is now)
4. All I wanna do is be with you (22 dreams)
5. Andromeda (Wake up the nation)
6. Strange town (single - The Jam)
7. Into tomorrow (Paul Weller)
8. Paper chase (new song)
9. Up the dosage (Wake up the nation)
10. Aim high (Wake up the nation)
11. No tears to cry (Wake up the nation)
12. Shout to the top (single - The Style Council)
13. That's entertainment (Sound affects - The Jam)
14. Trees (Wake up the nation)
15. How sweet it is (cover)
16. Fast car/Slow traffic (Wake up the nation)
17. Pretty green (Sound affects - The Jam)
18. Start! (Sound affects - The Jam)
19. Echoes round the sun (22 dreams)
1. Art School (In the city - The Jam)
2. Come on/Let's go (As is now)
3. Scrape away (Sound affects - The Jam)
1. Pieces of a dream (Wake up the nation)
2. The changingman (Stanley Road)