Paul Weller at the Opera House

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Paul Weller hit the top with the new wave and mod revival band The Jam. He later moved to a more soulful success with The Style Council  before establishing himself as a solo artist in 1991. So I was thinking “Hmmm, Ben Sherman clothes, Bryan Ferry presentation with a bit of edge and rocky lefty commentary surrounded by great music and musicians.

Not disappointingly, we had the old faves including White Sky, Eton Rifles, Englsih Rose, That’s Entertainment, Shout to the Top,  Monday, Town Like Malice, Long Long Road, a long show from 9-15pm to about 11-15pm with the usual breaks at the end for the inevitable “encores” – which included the excellent acoustic set.

So what went wrong last night ?

The sound last night in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House was like sitting in a plate of blancmange; the music was great, the performance and effort and quality was there, all spoilt by the poor sound.

Remember Phil Spektor ?  The “Wall of Sound” !  That’s what we had.

It was as if all the faders had been maxxed to get full saturation with consequential distortion.  Too much reverb, layering and echo so that the sounds of individual instruments including at many times during the show Paul Weller’s own guitar, became indistinguishable.

The softer songs were much better including the acoustic guitar numbers when you could almost hear the lyrics – and the times when he played the keyboards – sadly, it was the first time I have ever heard a 6-member band of 3 guitars, keyboard/synth, drums and percussion and not been able to separate the sound of the skins and tins.

When Weller was at the mike speaking, the sound was so appalling and feedback just unbearable, we couldn’t understand what he was saying.

Loved the performance though, full-on, polished, well executed (apart from the loudness, instrument and amplification imbalance, echo control, mike feedback, poor clarity, screeching sounds) lots of energy, Style Council classics, Jam legends and more recent favourites.

Pretty good and a great night out even with the sound disappoinments.