Paul Weller, with support from Stone Foundation, performing at Sherwood Pines Mansfield on Saturday 29th June 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Having last taken Sherwood Pines by storm in 2014, it was a sold out crowd who braved sweltering temperatures yesterday to welcome Paul Weller back.

Opening were Stone Foundation who came onto the stage to rapturous applause, and kicked off proceedings with new song Sweet Forgiveness from their latest album, Everybody, Anyone.

Delivering an eight song set list that included Season Of Changes, The Limit Of A Man and Back In The Game, they managed to increase the searing heat and when they finished with Ann Peebles’ I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, they had convinced this crowd to go and see them in Nottingham later this year.

Leaving the crowd wilting a little, they were back on their feet when Paul Weller made an appearance. Backed by the ever present lead guitarist Steve Cradock and bassist Andy Crofts, he launched into I’m Where I Should Be, before following up with a Style Council song, the upbeat My Ever Changing Moods.

Having previously shown a reluctance to dip into his back catalogue of The Style Council and The Jam material, last night saw him positively embrace them with three Style Council songs including the delightful Have You Ever Had It Blue and the anthemic Shout To The Top! and five Jam songs like a rare outing for Man In The Corner Shop and the timeless That’s Entertainment which prompted joyous chanting from a crowd that knew all of the words.

With Stone Foundation’s brass section on hand to bolster the likes of Can You Heal Us (Holy Man), it was also a night to celebrate his solo songs. Mermaids and Brushed were given an airing and the spellbinding Wild Wood with its evocative charm actually made the heavens open up for a few minutes respite.

It was a strutting and boisterous Peacock Suit that closed the show but for the encore there was Saturns Pattern, Broken Stones and Jam songs, Start!, Precious and of course the ever present cover of Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up, before they signed off with the night’s highlight, Town Called Malice.

At 61 years old Weller may not be the angry young man that saw him form the Jam in 1976 but he is undoubtedly still one of the most revered performers of the last forty years, and on last night’s performance it was easy to see why.