Paul Weller, Catch-Flame! Live at the Alexandra Palace

Iestyn George

By Iestyn George

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Former Jam and Style Council leader rocks out on this double-disc set.

A comprehensive journey through 30 years of songwriting, Paul Weller is seemingly the only British performer of his time who's managed to keep the wagon rolling without the wheels falling off comically at some point. No Frog Chorus, no Tin Machine — that's reason alone to celebrate this live album, recorded at London's Alexandra Palace in 2005. It encapsulates the raw rock sound that has served him well since the Stanley Road and Heavy Soul albums of the mid '90s. There's not a lot of room for tenderness when the testosterone is flowing and, from time to time, you might miss the light and shade you get from Weller's studio recordings. But you have to bow to his all-out assault when it's backed up by magical versions of "Broken Stones" and "Long Hot Summer" (both on Disc 1) and "Shout to the Top" (Disc 2).