Live4ever Media LLC (NYC / Leeds) are purveyors of new music, daily news, exclusive features and photo galleries on the world’s best Indie bands.
Live4ever also produces and promotes high quality live music events, and is enjoying a growing industry-wide reputation for both discovering and showcasing new bands.
Among the network of websites published are the acclaimed Live4ever and The Oasis Newsroom, the web’s most popular site reporting on the brothers Gallagher.
Live4ever was founded by 3-time Emmy Award winning cameraman and concert photographer, Paul Bachmann. Senior editor Dave Smith is based in Leeds, England and heads up Live4ever’s UK content, as well as overseeing all writing assignments for the site.
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Noel Gallagher has ripped off a song by The Pretty Things for the new Oasis album.
The Oasis guitarist is planning to include an unapproved version of The Pretty Things track 'Baron Saturday' on the band's new album and is worried he may be sued by the band's lawyers
Noel confessed: "I hadn't heard this at all until about three months ago and a friend of mine, who is in Kasabian, sent me a CD of some stuff he was listening to and it completely bent my head.
"I spent the next three months trying to rip it off for when the next Oasis record comes out.
"I shouldn't really be saying that because The Pretty Things' lawyers will be listening to this now, won't they! But there you go."
The rocker's partner Sara MacDonald gave birth to their first child together, Donovan Rory Gallagher, last week (22.09.07).
Noel sent friends and family a text message to announce the birth, which read: "He shall go by the name of Donovan Rory MacDonald Gallagher and he will be a legend. Give thanks and praise."
Donovan - who was delivered naturally after a seven-hour labour - weighed 7lb 5oz.
Noel - who already has a seven-year-old daughter, Anais, with ex-wife Meg Matthews - has been dating Sara for around seven years.
Noel's brother and Oasis bandmate Liam has three children, son Gene with his fiancée Nicole Appleton, son Lennon with his ex-wife Patsy Kensit and daughter Molly, who was conceived after Liam had a brief fling with singer Lisa Moorish in 1998.
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On October 2nd, London's legendary Roundhouse venue will come to life with the cream of the digital music world and you could be there, sipping champagne and generally feeling quite good about yourself.
As a reward for voting, you will be entered into a prizedraw for tickets to the awards show, where winners will be drawn at random after voting closes at midnight on Setpember 30th. Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you give your address when you vote!
(Donny and Marie were not paid for this endorsement :) )
In a startling interview in this month’s MOJO magazine, Oasis singer and professional loose cannon, Liam Gallagher, declares that his feud with former Blur whipping boy Damon Albarn, is over. “I don’t mind Blur. I’m over it,” he reveals. “ When I see Damon Albarn, I buzz off him.” It is just one of many remarkable statements that culminate in the mind-boggling claim that he is “The Enlightened One”...
Liam Gallagher has called an end to his feud with Britpop rivals Blur.
His band Oasis and the London group were arch rivals in the 1990s, with it all coming to a head when both bands released a single on the same day in 1995 - Blur's 'Country House' beat Oasis' 'Roll With it' following a massive war of words between the two bands.
Now the Oasis frontman says he's not only over the rivalry, but actually likes Blur frontman Damon Albarn.
"I don't mind Blur," Gallagher told Mojo. "I'm over it [the rivalry]. It was a laugh man, that's what you do when you're young."
He added: "When I see Damon Albarn, I buzz off him. If I was still caught up in it now I'd be a right wanker."
The singer's comments follow those of guitarist Noel Gallagher, who told NME.COM earlier this year that he respects his rivals as musicians.
"You know Damon, bless him, I've got a lot of respect for him. This never comes across in interviews, but I really do mean it," Noel said. "Because I'm indifferent to Damon, he thinks that I think he's a cunt. Our Liam will talk to him. I won't because he's just another singer in a band to me, but I don't think he's a cunt. Good luck to him."
Blur, meanwhile, are set to consider reuniting for a new record next week. Bassist Alex James has said all four members will have lunch together to discuss working again following guitarist Graham Coxon's departure from the band in 2002.
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has confessed that most of the band's early material makes him cringe.
Gallagher has even likened his voice on records such as 'Definitely Maybe' to Tweetie Pie.
With time to reflect, the Oasis star even failed to rate his vocals on tracks like 'Live Forever'.
"I hate my voice on all of them records", he said in The Sun. "I sound like fucking Tweetie Bird. I mean, they were good at the time - it's the best I could do, but I prefer it the way it is now."
Reminiscing about the early days, he added: "When I hear Slide Away, I think, 'That's a vocal.' Supersonic - that's all right. But certain songs... Live Forever - some of the high bits, I just think [head in hands], 'Aw, fuck that.'"
(as reported a while back in our Oasis newsroom you can check out Andy tomorrow night!)
Oasis man set to DJ in London
Oasis' Andy Bell will play a DJ set at the This Feeling clubnight in London's Parker McMillan venue tomorrow night (September 28).
The clubnight has a history of attracting indie stars... At the previous event Tom Clarke of The Enemy played a secret acoustic set, flanked by actors in Star Wars Stormtrooper costumes, while members of Kasabian have also attended.
As part of tomorrow night's entertainment The Rifles will play an acoustic set and Club NME's Jamie Fullerton will follow Bell on the decks.
- 1977: The Year Punk Exploded - REFLECTIONS FROM: Johnny Rotten, the Clash's Mick Jones, Chef Anthony Bourdain - SPIN's CHARLES AARON ON PUNK'S BIRTH and - The 30 most essential Punk Albums and Singles of 1977 reviewed.
Noel Gallagher's newborn baby boy is already having the innate Oasis swagger pressed upon him, according to a newspaper report.
Donovan Rory MacDonald Gallagher, born weighing 7lbs 5oz on Saturday, is the first child for Gallagher with girlfriend Sara MacDonald.
The Sun quotes a text sent by Noel to friends and family as saying "he will be a legend… give thanks and praise".
The somewhat ambitious tag is already evidence that the Gallagher brand of laid-back self-confidence is being passed on to another generation and shrewd betters are already seeking odds on the lad proving himself a hit-making machine like his dad.
With a name like Donovan that seems assured, but it could all have gone horribly wrong if Noel's initial naming instincts had their way.
A family friend told the Sun: "During the pregnancy Noel was calling the bump Little Sven. He said he wanted to name the lad after the [Manchester] City boss. Luckily he's ended up as Donovan."
Noel's first child, whose mother is ex-wife Meg Matthews, is called Anais.
Noel Gallagher and Carl Barat's giant guitars up for sale
Hard-Fi and The Kooks' mega axes also up for grabs
Over the past few months Gibson Guitars have paid homage to all things rock'n'roll, by bringing together musicians and visual artists to create a public art exhibition at More London and the O2 Arena.
'Gibson GuitarTown London' has seen the likes of Noel Gallagher, Kasabian (both pictured) Dirty Pretty Things, The Kooks and Hard-Fi team up with visual artists such as Sir Peter Blake and Gerald Scarfe to create giant guitar exhibits.
Now the axes have been put up for sale on eBay and will go to the highest bidder.
Money raised from the sale of the guitars will go to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, The Prince's Trust and Teenage Cancer Trust.
To check out all the guitars on sale, click Here .
You can hear the new Oasis track 'Lord Dont Slow Me Down' in full on Xfm on Monday, but get a sneak preview of the track right here, right now...
The band will release 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' as a download-only on October 21 through the band's official website but you can get a taste of the Noel-led rocker right now before it's debut on Xfm on Monday morning.
To hear the sampler click on the widget's play button below!
The 30-second clip is as a warm-up to the main event at 10:31am on Xfm on Monday (October 1) morning.
What happens when a film maker follows one of the world's biggest bands on a year long world tour? What happens when the film maker is granted unique access to that band, is present for the ups and downs, the moments of greatness and the periods of the same interview in 10 different languages in as many days? What happens when that band is Oasis, travelling across 26 countries on their biggest world tour to date playing to a total of over 2 million people?
The answer is 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down', a double DVD set which includes director Baillie Walsh's full (never-before-seen) cut of the film, and a homecoming concert from Manchester in 2005.
'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' is available from October 29 from Big Brother/Universal Music.
Oasis' Forthcoming Digital Download Adds to Their List of Instructional Titles
Oasis, there is so much we can learn from the titles of your albums and songs, not to mention your on- and off-stage conduct. When I was but a wee lass, I learned not to look back in anger. And now that I'm all grown-up, you're telling me not to...er, slow you down...?
The band announced yesterday that Oasis' first ever digital-only single will become available for purchase on October 21st, only from I mean, exclusively, from the website. You can order the single 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down', or a digital bundle that includes two live recordings: "The Meaning of Soul" and -- surprise! -- "Don't Look Back in Anger". The single costs $2, and the bundle $3.
That's a pretty audacious price for a single digital download from a band that hasn't done anything in three years. Or maybe they think I'll pay that much because I miss them so? Maybe I do and I just don't know it yet. The album should've been titled "You Want to Buy This Album, Motherf*ckers."
Oasis leader tells NME.COM about new single's origins
Noel Gallagher has told NME.COM the history behind the band's forthcoming single 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down'.
As reported yesterday (September 24), Oasis are set to release their first ever digital-only single. The track will be released on October 21.
Speaking to NME.COM, Oasis leader Noel Gallagher declared that the track is not simply a throwaway song he had hanging around, but one that he was considering for an album before it got linked to the band's tour documentary of the same name.
"That got left off the last album because it was the same verse all the way until the end," he explained, "but it's kind of locked into that (the documentary) now because it appears at the end of the film."
Gallagher added that he was particularly pleased with the direction the song was taking the band.
"It's quite rocking," he declared. "It's just 12 bar blues really, but it's good."
Meanwhile the film 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' is released on DVD on October 29.
Oasis release digital single, prepare for new album sessions
The band will get back to work this winter
Oasis have confirmed a new single release, "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", which will be their first ever download-only single next month.
Label: Big Brother Released: 21.10.2007 Total time: 3:23
The track will hit digital retailers from October 21, and it will be bundled with two live tracks from their 2005 concerts at the City of Manchester Stadium. It will initially be made available from the band's website oasisnet.com, with the video debuting on Youtube from October 1st.
Following the single will be a new tour documentary which followed the Manchester band on their 2005/2006 world tour and is released on DVD from October 29.
In other news, Sound Generator has learnt the band are close to finishing writing session work for their new studio album, the follow-up to 2005's "Don't Believe The Truth".
Next month, they'll be taking over Abbey Road's famed Studio 2 for two months of recording with a view to an early summer release. THe band are also widely tipped to be headlining next year's Glastonbury festival.
Appearing this morning (September 24) on Radio 1 with DJ Chris Moyles, the guitarist spoke about the new release, quipping that "it's coming out on that internet".
Sharing the band's inspiration for the online release, he explained: "You know there's a DVD coming out for Christmas... somewhat predictably. The title track was so brilliant that the powers that be said 'lets just put it out'. And I'm like, 'well we're not ready to do that yet'. So, it was decided it would be a nice thing to put it out for those people who have computers."
Joking about his lack of technological prowess, he stated: "I'm not one of those people, so it's a good job I get my own copy of it, because I wouldn't get it otherwise. I've got an iPod, but Gem sorts all that out for me. That's filth, y'know?"
Meanwhile the Oasis leader also spoke about the birth of his second child, a son, at the weekend (September 22).
After Moyles congratulated him, Gallagher joked: "What? for being third in the league?" - referring to the impressive start to the season his football team Manchester City have made - before explaining he was there for the birth.
"I was there," he explained. "It was alright for me, my missus was giving me a bit of stick afterwards, saying, 'you never took your jacket off all the way through!' I was just in my leather jacket, nodding 'you'll be alright, just get it out before Soccer AM finishes'. I think the worst thing is that you don't have any specific role [as a father at the birth]. You just stand there and nod."
He added that he had named the boy Donovan Rory Gallagher after "his granddad Rory".
Gallagher added: "He's called Donovan. Sounds like a man who means business already."
For more exclusive information on Oasis' single release get this week's issue of NME, on newsstands from September 26.
Oasis will release their first ever digital only single on 21st October, when 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' becomes available to download. The track, and accompanying video is taken from the eagerly anticipated DVD of the same name, which follows the band on their colossal world tour of 2005/6.
In order to pre order the track or exclusive digital bundle (and receive instantly The Meaning Of Soul Live) available only on Oasisinet.com.
Pre Order The Bundle OR Pre Order Track To Pre Order by Text, Text LDSMD to 78789
The digital bundle includes: Lord Don't Slow Me Down, The Meaning Of Soul (Live @ City of Manchester Stadium) & Don't Look Back In Anger (Live @ City of Manchester Stadium).
Lost footage of THE WHO has been unearthed for a new film about the British rockers. Never-before-seen concert and archival footage will feature on new DVD package Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who.
Band founders Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are among the brains behind the project, and the duo also contributed material from their personal archives. The film also features footage shot by fans after original director Murray Lerner went online to ask devotees to submit old home video footage of the group. Among the lost footage is performances of The Who when they were known as the High Numbers in the mid-1960s.
Executive producer Nigel Sinclair tells Billboard.com, "The film was lost for the ages, but three years ago, an old gentleman in Amsterdam was cleaning out his loft. "His grandson knew this was what the Who used to call themselves, and they put it on and realised what it was. "We had 834 separate items we had to clear in the past few months. Our post-production specialist is now writing a PhD paper for NYU based on this project. It was unprecedented. It is really difficult to take these different formats and make them work."
The Who film also features interviews with celebrity fans like Sting, Eddie Vedder and Noel Gallagher.
Well you can wait for the mainstream press to tell you all about it on Monday or you can read it right here on L4E and at Stopcryingyourheartout.com
Press Dispensary - UK rock band Oasis is opening its official online space in the virtual world Second Life (SL) this Monday, September 24, and is kicking off with a preview of its latest release, a feature-length-plus, limited edition double DVD entitled ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’. The facility – built for Oasis in Second Life’s ‘New Horizon’ business park – is a joint venture between SL developer New Business Horizons (NBH – http://www.nbhorizons.com ) and SL media producer Phoenix Film & Television (http://www.phoenixmedia.co.uk ).
From Monday, visitors can watch the DVD’s trailer as they browse around the space, pick up free goodies such as a virtual t-shirt and coffee table book, have a look at stills from the production and pre-order the double DVD itself for real world delivery by Amazon. The real world release of ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’ is scheduled for October 29, 2007 by Big Brother Recordings in the UK and Big Brother Recordings/Universal internationally.
Shown at a handful of screenings during 2006, ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’ is a feature-length, full-on ‘definitive’ documentary in which film-maker Baillie Walsh follows the Gallagher brothers on a year-long world tour of 26 different countries, playing to more than two million people. For the DVD release, the feature also offers the option of voice-overs from the band, a Noel Gallagher Q & A session with fans from New York City and outtakes from the film. The limited edition version contains a second disc with a 90 minute live DVD capturing the band’s homecoming show at the City of Manchester Stadium in July 2005, together with footage sent in by fans.
The trailer for the product – which gives a fascinating insight into Oasis experiencing the ups and downs of the road, and what they make of their lives – is being shown only in Second Life and on MySpace.
Alan Haymes (SL avatar: Doctor Hickman) of NBH explains: “The Oasis space mirrors everything you’d expect in the real world, but with the added advantage that it’s accessible to visitors from all over Second Life at the touch of a simple teleport button.”
Emma Fulford of Universal Music adds: “Oasis fans can be found in all corners of the ‘real’ world and we wanted to make sure that their Second Life counterparts also enjoy what promises to be one of the decade’s greatest rock documentaries and live concerts.”
The Oasis SL store can be found at SLURL Blue Horizon/81/153/26
To commemorate Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones being thrown out of a club last night for going into the ladies toilets we’ve launched a new gallery which looks at rock n’ rolls greatest brawlers.
Now we all know that Jones isn’t one to hide from a bit of confrontation and last night – which resulted in him cutting his arm open – was no different.
However, is he the worst? Only at the beginning of this week we saw two members of Towers Of London carted off down to the cells in the back of a police van and earlier this year even ‘pop princess’ Lily Allen had a run in with a photographer.
Then of course there's 'Bjork-gate' and how could we forget Liam Gallagher?
Before we spoil it for you, to see the best brawling rivalries or people who just don’t really like folk who carry around a camera and stick it in their faces, then take a look in our gallery, HERE.
With the band working on their seventh studio album with producer Dave Sardy, the Oasis leader has turned his hand to DJing and recently recorded an hour-long show for Radio 1's 40th birthday and NME has heard a sneak preview.
"Radio 1 is 40 years old, as am I," said Noel. "If you think about it. I'm a visual representation on how the station would look."
He added that he was surprised how much things had changed since Oasis' first visit "Jo Whiley had Doc Martens on and I remember thinking, 'the bird's in Doc Martens' - she's anything but a Doc Marten-wearer now!"
Noel's show is broadcast on September 24 between 9-10pm.
Arctic Monkeys (26) and Paul Weller (20) among the other guest DJs.
Another new snippet has been made available from the forthcoming DVD release of Oasis' on-the-road movie 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down'.
The film, which was released in selected cinemas last year will come with a host of extras - including voice commentaries from all of the band, plus footage of the Q&A Noel Gallagher hosted in New York last year.
A second disc captures Oasis' Manchester homecoming show at Eastlands Stadium too, which includes footage sent in by fans who attended the show.
‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’ is scheduled for release on October 29.
The King returns with his video to his fantastic new single 'Illegal Attacks'
If you are registered with NME you can view the video online here
- Pete Doherty and his band are back in the studio now
Babyshambles are back in the studio recording brand new songs.
The tracks are set to be B-sides for forthcoming singles from their second album, 'Shotter's Nation', which will be released on October 1.
Writing on his MySpace blog, Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek revealed that the new song titles are entitled 'Jumping Bean', 'I Don't Know That Man', 'Fixing Up (To Go)', 'Fireman', 'Revelations', 'Maybeline' and 'Velvet Untitled'.
Meanwhile, a new video of Pete Doherty recording a brand new song, 'Darksome Sea', has appeared online. You can see the video now on the NME Office Blog.
Meanwhile get this week's issue of NME which comes with a free vinyl single featuring a special version of forthcoming single 'Delivery'.
Shins, Strokes, Franz, Beck, Monkeys on SNL Live CD Alas, you can only buy it at Target
Where's Don Pardo when you need him? On September 9-- yep, a Sunday-- Sony BMG will plaster endcaps at Target stores nationwide with an 11-track compilation of musical performances from the veritable guffaw institution "Saturday Night Live".
The descriptively-titled Live From SNL! Music Performances From Saturday Night Live collects the late night television exploits of Franz Ferdinand, the Shins, the Strokes, Beck and Arctic Monkeys, as well as Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Pink, Maroon 5, and a Band-less Dave Matthews.
Did we mention that you can only buy the CD at Target? Yes? Well, let's say it again. You can only buy this CD at Target.
01 Avril Lavigne: "Girlfriend" 02 Kelly Clarkson: "Since U Been Gone" 03 Foo Fighters; "Best of You" 04 Arctic Monkeys: "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" 05 Pink: "Trouble" 06 Beck: "Nausea" 07 Dave Matthews: "Save Me" 08 The Shins: "Phantom Limb" 09 The Strokes: "You Only Live Once" 10 Maroon 5: "Harder to Breathe" 11 Franz Ferdinand: "Take Me Out"
If you enjoy reading the latest on Oasis please take a few seconds and cast your vote for the Oasis News Room at this years DMA 07. These awards are open to music sites or blogs ranging from the big and glamourous to the small but perfectly formed. As always I truly appreciate your continued support! - webby
Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher and Tony Blackburn will present a series of programmes on Radio 1 as part of the station's 40th birthday celebrations. The former Beatle will host the first of 10 evening shows titled Radio 1 Legends, beginning on September 17, playing some of the tunes that inspired him and his career.
He will be followed in the slot by acts including the Arctic Monkeys, Ozzy Osbourne, Debbie Harry, Norman Cook, Gwen Stefani and Oasis guitarist and songwriter Gallagher.
Blackburn, who hosted Radio 1's first ever breakfast show, will return to the station on September 30, exactly 40 years after its first broadcast, to co-host the breakfast slot with Chris Moyles.
This kicks off a day of programmes featuring ex-Radio 1 DJs, including another former breakfast DJ, Zoe Ball, who joins Sara Cox between 1pm and 4pm, and the chart show at 4pm, to be co-presented by JK and Joel with former hosts Mark Goodier and Bruno Brooks.
Hollywood actor and John Peel fan Elijah Wood will host a tribute to the late Radio 1 DJ at 10pm, called Keeping It Peel; following a one-off edition of Annie Nightingale's request show and an hour-long Radio 1 documentary, The A-Z of Radio.
Other former Radio 1 breakfast hosts will join Vernon Kay for the Sunday morning show from 10am.
Radio 1 shares its 40th anniversary with Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio 4. Radio 3 was previously the BBC Third programme, renamed on September 30, 1967 with the launch of the other three national stations.
Anniversary programming on the other networks include a show hosted by Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse's Smashie and Nicey on Radio 2; and a spoof This Is Your Life-style documentary fronted by Stephen Fry and Matt Lucas on Radio 4.
Oasis release a brand new on-the-road documentary 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' next month, and for the next eight weeks, Uncut.co.uk will be making clips from the film available for you to see.
The Baillie Walsh directed film follows Oasis on their world tour through 2005, when they visited 26 countries, playing to over 2 million fans.
The double-disc DVD release of the film which had a cinema release last year, will also come with bonus audio commntary from all of the band - Noel, Liam, Andy and Gem who all add their personal recollections throughout.
The second disc captures Oasis' homecoming show at Manchester's Eastlands Stadium on July 2, 2005.
Oasis are currently in the studio working on a new studio album, due for release in 2008.
To see the first online clip from 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down' - click below to view on Windows Media Player:
Singer JON BON JOVI has launched a scathing attack at British rockers OASIS and pop star ROBBIE WILLIAMS - insisting their music is so bad they "couldn't fill a bar".
The Livin'On A Prayer hitmaker also hits out at troubled Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty and pokes fun at soccer ace David Beckham in the new issue of Glamour magazine. He says of Williams, "That guy? He couldn't fill a bar. He couldn't even sell 500 tickets. "(Oasis) couldn't fill a bar, either - and they're full of themselves. He adds of Doherty, "We're not familiar of anything other than his antics and the fact that he's always in trouble - I've never heard a single one of his songs." But Bon Jovi's most bitter comments were reserved for LA Galaxy's Beckham, who he ridiculed by asking, "Is he past his prime?"
From celebrity to suburbia: Robert Sandall joins the rock legend Paul Weller on a journey back to childhood and English lyricism
It’s not hard to figure out why Paul Weller is still referred to as The Modfather. As he strides purposefully across the concourse of Waterloo station, he looks like a latter-day 1960s mod who’s parked the Lambretta but hung on to the gear. “All right, mate?” he inquires by way of a greeting, in affable, gruff sarf London. Sod the queue; he suggests we buy our tickets on the train. We’re off to Woking, the Surrey town where he grew up, and where we’re going to be spending the day revisiting his old haunts.
In person, Weller is a perfect specimen of “middle youth”. The straggly, lightly feathered hair is streaked with grey, and the maroon, buttoned T-shirt covers what might be the beginnings of a beer paunch, but in all other respects Weller is ageing brilliantly. The rectangular shades and deep tan set him apart from Waterloo’s morning commuter scrum and imply that he must be just back from holiday. But no, he says he leaves for southern Spain with girlfriend, Sami, and their two kids in a week’s time. One of his other three children – an 11-year-old girl called Dylan – will join them out there. As 49-year-old fathers of five go, it has to be said that Weller is a pretty good advert for the rock-star lifestyle.
Not that we’re meeting today to celebrate that exactly. In terms of his musical track record, Weller has little left to prove. He is, in any case, a reluctant media performer. He has given plenty of interviews over the years without giving much away. His private life – which has included a failed marriage and a bout of heavy cocaine use in the 1990s – has seldom made it into the tabloids.
A rock icon built on the foundations of an old-fashioned British bloke, his reticence is legendary. “Weller is bloody coy,” says a friend who’s known him for 12 years. “His interests extend much further than he will ever let on.” Others claim to have found him difficult: “chippy” is a word that journalists sometimes use to describe a man allegedly defensive of his working-class origins.
“Shy” seems a better description today: the longer we talk, the more relaxed and forthcoming he becomes. The general perception that Weller is a “diamond geezer” – a view that fits nicely with his whiskery, oak-aged singing voice, vivid melodies and keen eye for the details of ordinary British life; like his vignette of yob violence, Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, or his paean to the street where he was born, Stanley Road – feels about right.
The Lifetime Achievement gong he picked up in 2006 at the Brit awards was one of the least controversial gold-watch awards ever dished out by the domestic pop industry. Thirty years since he first found fame in the punk era – as the singer and guitarist with the Jam – he’s become a pillar of the British rock establishment, with an uninterrupted run of more than 50 chart singles between 1977 and 2000, and millions of albums sold.
He is a rock star’s rock star. “Weller” – the no-nonsense handle by which he is usually known – is as deeply revered by the pop aristos he grew up worshipping, notably Paul McCartney, as he is by the Britpoppers who canonised him, like Oasis. Noel Gallagher is one of his best mates.