Favourite son

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - TONY CLAYTON-LEA

Cons) in that the song con­tent is far more po­lit­i­cally brash and the­mat­i­cally co­he­sive.

Songs such as Burn­ing Sky, Waste­land, Thick as Thieves and Lit­tle Boy Sol­diers di­rectly ref­er­ence a jet­ti­soned Or­wellian-in­spired song suite about three child­hood friends who re­unite as adults fol­low­ing a wartime con­flict (the al­bum cover is a pho­to­graph of a bronze statue from the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of London’s Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum) only to dis­cover that they have drifted apart.

Re­leased a month be­fore The Clash’s iconic London Call­ing, which laid out its so­cio-po­lit­i­cal worldview in broad and some­times pun­ish­ing strokes, Set­ting Sons (ac­com­pa­nied here with tour pro­grammes, fanzines, a book and demos) de­fined Weller as a song­writer who, like his cre­ative men­tor, The Kinks’ Ray Davies, pre­ferred to high­light com­par­a­tively parochial sce­nar­ios in finely de­tailed minia­ture. Each band has their re­spec­tive cham­pi­ons, of course, but if there’s a prize for a 1970s song­writer that used words in­stead of slo­gans to bet­ter ef­fect, then Weller takes the gong. paulweller.com/the­jam

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