Style Council tonight. In concert from Gold Digger’s in 1984 and preserved for posterity by the ever-venerable BBC Radio 1’s In Concert series.
When The Jam called it quits and went their separate ways, there was always a question as to what Paul Weller would be doing, what new direction would he be taking. The Jam were a pretty tough act to follow, but they were evolving and slowly getting away from their Mod/Punk beginnings and were heading in a different direction, as their last singles were indicating.
So when Style Council emerged, it seemed like the next logical step, and it was a highly stylized and well-executed one. Teaming up with Paul Talbot, formerly with Dexy’s Midnight Runners, they crafted a diverse blend of musical styles, along with a more political approach to their message. The combination of this musical blend with this activist message was confusing to some people, but they were coming about at a time when New Wave was starting to come on the scene and The Style Council enjoyed a goodly amount of success, particularly in the U.S. during their tenure.
When the band called it quits in 1989, Paul Weller admitted later that they should have broken up a few years earlier, but that they created some great music that wouldn’t be completely appreciated for some time. I’m not sure that’s entirely true – Style Council have held up and have not aged. Their music has always been engaging and insightful – and their execution has always been sophisticated.
Tonight’s concert comes during the early period of the band. It was recorded around the time Cafè Bleu (or My Ever Changing Moods as it was known in the U.S.) was released and many of the songs featured are from that album.
If you missed them the first time around, check this concert out. It’s well worth taking the 25 or so minutes to investigate. If you’re already a fan, this one is like an old friend.