Mod magic in the forest: Paul Weller talks ahead of Forest Live performance
The word icon is overused. But it can accurately be applied to Paul Weller, who headlines Cannock Chase’s Forest Live on July 6.
Weller made his Forest Live debut in 2004 and has played to sell-out crowds ever since, with his most recent appearances being in 2014.
He’ll be joined next week by special guests Stone Foundation, who will play before Weller’s two-hour set.
The Forest Live gigs have become a highlight of the area’s summer events calendar, and while Jess Glynne’s performance next Friday has sadly been cancelled, Weller and Jack Savoretti’s appearance on subsequent nights should make up for it at least in part.
Weller has enjoyed an imperious run of form in recent years, hitting new creative peaks since the release of his 22 Dreams record in 2008.
Since then, he has released a series of records that have confirmed his status as one of Britain’s leading innovators and talents. Weller followed 22 Dreams with Wake Up The Nation in 2010, Sonik Kicks in 2012, Saturns Pattern in 2015, A Kind Revolution in 2017 and True Meanings in 2018, providing a new high water mark.
“The album sounds the way it does because of one song,” he says. “There’s a tune on the album called ‘Gravity’, about four songs in, which I love, and everyone who heard it really loves that tune.
“After making a few albums that have been kind of experimental, I wanted to make an album that’s just songs – just voice and guitar predominantly. So it stands on its own merits.”
It’s difficult to believe Weller has reached his 60th year.
But last May he did. And he remains as important today as he did during his trailblazing years in The Jam, between 1976 and 1982, or his creative era in The Style Council, from 1983-1989.
Weller will celebrate 30 years of solo work this year, having found himself without a recording contract in 1989 for the first time since he was 17.
Fans at Cannock Chase can tune into his new work – and hits from yesteryear – at this year’s Forest Live.