“What’s made Paul Weller such a hero in England is his Englishness,” the dean of American rock critics, Bob Christgau, once wrote of Paul Weller when reviewing Snap, the last album by Weller’s first band, The Jam. He’s still incontrovertibly English, though, the kind of guy who plays stadiums on his home turf but the comparatively cozy 9:30 Club here. There’s nothing novel about rockers of Weller’s generation—he’s 55—continuing to tour. What is unusual is for punters to turn up to hear these long-lived artists’ new songs. Weller followed up his years in The Jam with an equally long stint fronting the more pop and soul-oriented The Style Council before embarking upon a two-decades-and-counting run as a solo artist. By populating his live sets with solo tracks and refusing to wallow in nostalgia, his steady stream of new albums remain vital: Last year’s Sonik Kicks was as accomplished as ever, and its predecessor, 2010’s Wake Up the Nation got him nominated for his second Mercury Prize. And in an intimate setting like the 9:30 Club, listeners will get to inhale Weller’s Englishness directly.
Paul Weller performs with Matthew Ryan at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $45. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.