Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Paul Weller - Find The Torch, Burn The Plans (2010)




This live album is notable because it includes material (seven songs) from 2010's "Wake Up The Nation" album and, without exception, the tracks sound a million times better than they do on what is, in my opinion, an incredibly badly-produced album. Here, a grating, sonically irritating track like "Andromeda" sounds like something approaching a decent track, and "7 & 3 Is The Striker's Name" has that typical Weller live power - full and bassy, loaded with attack. Great versions of old standards "Into Tomorrow" from the debut solo album and the rousing, crowd pleasing, riffy "From The Floorboards Up" are interspersed with the new tracks. Weller's band are on top form too. Potent, vibrant and confident.

"Aim High" is superbly funky, full of rumbling bass, weird keyboard swoops and Weller's detached, far away-sounding voice. It is twice the song it is on the original album - so much fuller in sound. "Moonshine" just bristles with verve and vitality. Its general sound is quite intense but here it really rocks and doesn't sound nearly as tinny as on the studio album. It is also a bit longer than on the studio album, giving it more personality as a song. The grungy "Echoes Round The Sun" from "22 Dreams" is punchy, with a thumping bass, but Weller's voice gets lost somewhere along the way, for some reason. The effervescent "Up The Dosage" is delivered with considerable attack, once again improving upon the studio version. "Trees" has never been a favourite of mine (although I admire the sentiments behind the song). It still sounds a mess to me.

"Wild Wood" is given a far more obvious, pounding drum beat and some electric violin, giving it a really appealing makeover. It even has a reggae bit in the middle. I love this version of the song. Kelly Jones from The Stereophonics joins Weller for a barnstorming "Eton Rifles". "That's Entertainment" is given the full band treatment. "Fast Car/Slow Traffic" is a frantic end to the collection.

At the end of the album, you get five tracks from sessions at the BBC Radio 2 Theatre, all of which are excellent in performance and sound quality.

B-

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