On this episode of the Paul Weller Fan Podcast, I am joined by another hugely talented musician – the lady behind the keys – Helen Turner.
As a much-loved Honorary Councillor for The Style Council, she performed with the band live on multiple tours and TV performances in the UK, Europe, Japan and Down Under – including Glastonbury and Live Aid!.
You can also hear her on many recordings with Paul, Mick, Dee and Steve… we’re talking songs such as ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down‘ and ‘The Lodgers‘… The ‘Home & Abroad‘ and ‘In Concert‘ albums too.
In the early 90s, when Paul needed a keyboard player to join his solo band… we’re talking the time of Wild Wood and Stanley Road… it was Helen who he called… a masterstroke with so many incredible live performances – captured for us to play back now – on the likes of Jools Holland, Glastonbury ’94 and Live Wood.
You’ll also hear her on the albums – Wild Wood and Stanley Road too.
Helen was one of the first names on my wish-list back in 2020 so I am absolutely delighted to have finally tracked her down for a lovely podcast chat…
Click your preferred podcast platform to listen…
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EP125 – Helen Turner – Musician – Honorary Councillor / Paul Weller Solo – Desperately Seeking Paul : Paul Weller Fan Podcast
Thanks to Mick Talbot for putting me in touch , and to Mr Cools Dream for the vital research on The Style Council – check out 1983 and 1984 publications here…
A special Spotify Playlist… Some of Helen’s Career CV!
The Style Council – Sight & Sound – 1984
Simulcast on BBC Radio & TV in March 1984, the performance features Paul and Mick with Steve White on Drums, Jaye Williamson on vocals, Anthony Harty on bass, Steve Sidelnyk on Percussion, Chris Lawrence on Trombone, Stewart Prosser on Trumpet and Helen Turner on Keys.
The Style Council – Walls Come Tumbling Down – 1985
The Style Council with Lenny Henry – 1985
The Style Council – Live Aid – 1985
The Style Council – Tumblin’ Down Under – 1985
The Style Council – Showbiz – 1985
Paul Weller Solo – Jools Holland – 1993
Paul Weller Solo – Live Alabama-Halle München 1994
2004 – Frances Ruffelle – Over You
Frances Ruffelle wrote this song with Helen in the early noughties. Etienne Daho loved it so much he rewrote the lyrics into French and put it on 3 of his albums – calling it Le Brasier. You’ll find more in my playlist above…
2012 – Cronin – In Loneliness Lives
The song features guest appearances from Steve Wickham (The Waterboys) on Violin, Helen Turner (Paul Weller) on Keys, Tosh Flood (Pugwash) on Guitar and Vocals, Ger McDonnell on Vibes, Karl Odlum on Piano and Daire O Reilly & John Halnon on Brass. Brass & Strings arranged by Mr Terry Edwards (another Weller connection who is coming to the podcast soon…)
I also mentioned Aliens on the podcast – which Helen was part of for a time. Described as a “music, film and animation” collective, it began life as a song writing project in 2016. The brainchild of Del Amitri guitarist Iain Harvie and filmmaker Tim May, the Aliens collective aims to inspire creative collaboration and serve as a reminder of the current troubled political climate.
Find out more here.