PREVIEW: Yorkshire Modfather fans set for new show and album double delight

Yorkshire-bound Paul Weller

Yorkshire-bound Paul Weller

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Paul Weller fans from the region can Start! to count down with excitement to tickets sale for newly announced show in a town called ... Leeds.

Friday February 23 2018 First Direct Arena date will showcase former The Jam and The Style Council frontman's impressively eclectic back catalogue as well as tracks from 13th solo studio LP (accompanied here by timely ultimate Modfather quiz).

Monday (April 3) sees 9am Leeds concert tickets sale from www.firstdirectarena.com and 0844 2481585 while eagerly anticipated A Kind Revolution album will be released by Parlaphone Records on May 12.

Its issue will come 40 years, almost to the day, since his ground-breaking band's "In The City" debut LP. For most artists such a landmark would be greeted with extensive retrospective celebrations, lavish reissues and all that jazz.

But Weller is not like most artists, instead releasing a new studio album. Because, releasing new albums is what he does. Always moving forward, almost clinically averse to nostalgia or checking his progress in the rear-view mirror.

He started work on his latest release immediately after finishing 2015’s "Saturns Pattern" (title track featured live here from last year's Later … with Jools Holland BBC2 TV show), first tickling out the funky strut of "New York” and beautiful slow-mo gospel of “The Cranes Are Back” - a song that links changing face of London with the power of nature and whose lyric gives the album its title.

Musicians on the album feature most of the touring band faithful with Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier being the top mainstays. Steve Cradock and Steve Pilgrim also feature on several tracks. Opening track “Woo Sé Mama” sees legendary soul singers PP Arnold & Madeleine Bell supply their distinctive vocal skills while the exceedingly funky “One Tear” features the unmistakable voice of the one and only Boy George.

Paul even managed to lure Robert Wyatt out of retirement to sing and play trumpet on “She Moves With The Fayre”. Finally, and once again, The Strypes’ guitarist Josh McClorey has been drafted in to add his magic to 3 tracks.

“A Kind Revolution” features ten absolute classic modern Paul Weller songs. By “modern Paul Weller songs” we mean, instantly recognisable but in no way predictable. He doesn’t make a “kind of” album, he fits together all his influences - rock, R&B, soul, jazz, funk, folk…whatever - and builds a song from them, delivering something that drifts through genres unselfconsciously and at ease.

Two great examples of this are two of the most reflective, contemplative songs, “Long Long Road” and “Hopper”, which in lesser hands might have been delivered as ballads, but Weller adds so much texture and colour to each that they defy categorisation. With great age comes great wisdom…

Written and recorded at de facto HQ, Black Barn Studios in Surrey, “A Kind Revolution” was produced and arranged by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and Paul himself.

The album is released on CD, Special Edition 3 CD set, 12” Vinyl LP, limited Deluxe 10” Vinyl Box Set, Standard & Deluxe Downloads and is available to Stream. Bonus tracks include full album instrumentals, plus alternate versions and remixes. For full details see www.paulweller.com/akr site.

We defer to The Daily Telegraph, who recently wrote of Weller: "Apart from David Bowie, it's hard to think of any British solo artist who's had as varied, long-lasting and determinedly forward-looking a career".

BBC bosses hailed him "one of the most revered music writers and performers of the past 30 years" while 2012 saw him among British cultural icons chosen by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in celebratory new version of arguably his most famous artwork, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

Winner of four Brit Awards, including Best British Male twice and Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, Weller remains among hardest grafting men in music.