It was a pleasant surprise that the two gigs had so different set lists. My experience of the first gig was that the new songs and the songs that blended well with the new material were the ones that worked best, whereas some of the other songs made the set seem uneven. I got the feeling that Weller's heart was more into the new material. The sound of the vocals wasn't so good imho, although much better when Weller was at the keyboards. That's why I decided to go backwards on the second night, but it wasn't much better there. I enjoyed the songs from the new album, especially Pieces of a Dream which has the potential for an extended live version, but WUTN, Fast Car Slow Traffic, 7&3 etc. all sound good live. It's not because there was anything wrong with the energy and performances on the first night, but to me on the second night the set seemed to work better. Perhaps the mixture of old and new was the reason, although I'm not sure. Pilgrim got to play a solo on One Bright Star, and we got the acoustic encore with Everything has a price to pay. It seemed quite obvious that it was Crofts who had talked Weller into playing Art School. I must admit that to me it sounds more of an oddity, because that early Jam sound doesn't fit so well with Weller's solo material, whereas the three songs from Sound Affects that he played work really well, not least Scrape Away.
Apparently, Thursday was Cradock's birthday. There were a couple of young dark haired women watching the gig from the side, I suppose one of them may have been Weller's girl friend? Crofts, Pilgrim, Lewis were watching Operator Six on the first night, I also noticed Weller for a moment. Not quite sure what to think of them - they were quite loud, so it was a bit difficult to really appreciate what they were playing - but for some reason I also thought they sounded better on the second night. Perhaps my judgment of the second night got biased by my having spent the afternoon with a guy I know, first having a couple of pints at a pub and then sharing a bottle of red wine over lunch?
Anyway, with the difference between the set lists of the two gigs, I'm pretty curious to see the set list from Eindhoven, because it will be interesting to see how it develops. I have booked my flight and hotel to go to the RAH gig on May 25 - and then I think I have had my share of Weller gigs for a while :-)