Meeting Paul WELLER in Cardiff

To be (or not to be) a Mod. To be (or not to be) in Style, to be (or not to) be a stone's throw away from truth... Paul Weller follow a path he created himself. A man full of patterns, of various inspirations and nourishing expectations... When I was, well, a teenager, in Toulouse, France, I came upon "Going underground" in my local record shop. I was blown away by the opening chords, so violent and meaningful. God knows how many times I've listened to it. It was less martial that "London calling", and a little more poetic. More "Out of time" as R.E.M would say...

I tracked down the Jam songs back ("Thick as thieves", "Girl on the phone"...) and forth ("Monday", "Pretty green", "Set the house ablaze". Many years later, I'd see a disturbing japanese film ("H story" by Nobuhiro Suwa ) that would end with the mesmerizing "That's entertainment" that Paul Weller created (in a flow) 25 years before. The combination of the plain moving images and the raw song acted as a catharsis. For Beatrice Dalle, and me...

Enter the Style Council... It started with an interesting "bad" choice, for me at least, with the first single : I'd have rather put "Party chambers" on the A side, and let "Speak like a child" go on the "B" front... Ah, "Party chambers" ! Dark and stark analysis of love, and a groovy rythm packed altogether. Set the tone for the whole Style Council's adventures to come...

When I entered the TV world (film reviewer on French program "La vie à plein temps") the producer had chosen "A stone's throw away" for the jingle introducing my review. Without knowing my passion for Paul and his council...

Many years later, after having banged on some wild wood (a great song), and various Weller's opuses, I was driving to Brittany, with some CD's recently bought playing on... When I listened to "Song for Alice" (Coltrane), my senses were all stretched, and my mind soothed and cured for a while. Thanks Paul Weller. It was so moving to meet you in Cardiff backstage in 2018...


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