PAUL WELLER has always credited The Beatles for inspiring him to take up the guitar.

But equally important, he claims, were ... Status Quo.

Weller says seeing the much-derided hard rockers as a teenager was an epiphany – and you saw what he meant at Saturday's show.

Not that the Modfather – the best-dressed man in pop – has started wearing double-denim.

But the legacy of Quo's loud, pile-driving shows is all over Weller's brisk, no-nonsense live approach in 2018.

Kicking off with a brace of songs from 2015's acclaimed Saturn's Patterns, Weller banged through 31 songs in two hours.

It was a triumphant celebration of a 40-year career that his seen Weller journey from the wannabe Steve Marriott of The Jam, via the soul of Style Council and the Traffic-like folk-rock of his early solo albums to the experimental newer stuff.

Inevitably the Jam classics got the biggest cheers. But underrated Style Council numbers My Ever Changing Moods and Shout To The Top have aged best.

Weller has ditched the stodginess of his "dad rock" years. Every song is lean and straight to the point.

His five-piece band, including veteran Steve Cradock, (CORR, ONE D) provide exactly the kind of heavy soul Weller has always been after.

Highlights included an acoustic set – a terrific That's Entertainment – and joyful new song Woo Se Mama.

And it was good to hear Above The Clouds, which came with thanks to the "120 people who saw me play this in Brighton's Zap Club in 1992, when I was clinging to the ladder of superstardom".

Weller, 59, kept his legendary cantankerousness in check as he swaggered around stage, jaw jutting. Few artists look as much at home in front of a crowd as he does.

The show built up to a roaring climax with The Changingman and The Jam's Town Called Malice.

Then Weller was off – his status as one of Britain's best performers remaining unchanged.