Single Review – Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern

The ‘Modfather’ a.k.a Paul Weller has released one of the lead singles from his upcoming twelfth studio album entitled Saturns Pattern. The self titled lead single from the May 18th album is a slight shift in tone from Weller with more heavier and distorted singles already released. This track is more steadier, with a percussive rhythm and a greater focus on melodies from oscillating organs, piano chords and Weller’s more laid back vocal. From this, there can be areas of opportunity for bursts of sound from the wound-up distorted guitars, but they are rightly controlled by Weller in order to let the song have an air of continuity and variety for the album.

Sunday Suggestion – The Jam – The Butterfly Collector

1979 was an important year for The Jam. After initially sparking much intrigue and excitement early in 1977 with In The City; the pressure to follow it up later that year had led to a lesser album with The Modern World which was countered brilliantly with All Mod Cons in 1978. 1979 would be the year that defined their careers. Put them in full view of the country and up to the upper echelons of the charts. The Butterfly Collector is a real stand alone tune amongst so many from them that year and it only existed as a B-Side to the single Strange Town. Upon hearing the slow and spikey opening riff; you could argue it was that sort of style that refined much of Nivarna’s music for example. This a full decade before anyone knew of them outside of Seattle. It sets a real dark tone that’s set against Weller’s echoed and undulated vocal for a slight haunting and uneasy effect. It takes on a more standard and built up structure in the chorus for a more sing-a-long quality, but this is used to great effect in putting the verses on a pedestal by smoothly fading back out into the darker depth of the song. This is highlighted upon understanding the vocals. It is said to be about a book called The Collector but in fact it was about Soo Catwoman who; after the self destruction of The Sex Pistols had went on to try and become part of their entourage and this was resented by Weller. He saw her as trying to collect fame from others and lacking any individuality as a result. She achieved a cult status nevertheless which is what might have prompted Weller to write it. There is certainly more than meets the eye with this B-Side and It might just open your mind to The Jam a little bit more.

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Paul Weller & Syd Arthur at Newcastle City Hall


Last night I had a break from uni life to venture out to Newcastle City Hall to see the legend of British music that is Paul Weller or the ‘Modfather’ as he’s known. As I walked up and down to my lectures and seminars, the support trucks and vans lined the street corner and on my way back Weller’s Beat The Street bus emerged around the corner. It really builds up the anticipation and excitement for the nights event. I don’t think I was let down at the gig either. You often can be left disappointed by ageing rockstars who play meaningless covers or refuse to play a balance of their new and old material. Yet Weller started with  ‘Wake up the Nation’ and ending with ‘A Town Called Malice’ with songs from Stanley Road, Heavy Soul to Sonic Kicks and songs like ‘Start’. His vocals still at a high level and his playing still very slick as was Steve Craddock on lead guitar. There were a few stoppages between songs while they prepared but it only seemed to whip up the crowd rather than annoy them. Besides that it was just an opportunity to soak up the energy and atmosphere surrounding a true music great. I also have to praise Syd Arthur as the support act. They sounded very clean and crisp with all the various elements of their sound which they presented well. The vocals too were spot on and the combination of both acts was almost symmetrical to my own personal music tastes. It was a great night to forget about everything and take in the music.