My latest guest is the legendary booking agent Martin Hopewell – a man who was a key part of the Weller set up for 28 years from The Jam in 1977 to The Style Council to Paul Weller solo – from the return with The Movement right through to the covers project – Studio 150.
From smaller boutique agency Cowbell with The Jam through to World Service with TSC which became part of the mega super agency Primary Talent (with Paul Weller Solo). Primary also looked after huge artists like Rod Stewart, Bryan Ferry, Culture Club, Kylie along with The Cure & Peter Gabriel… who Martin still works with to this day.
Over the next hour you’re going to hear some amazing stories from making it up as you go along with The Jam, to the chaos of Mont de Marsan Festival du Punk in the deep South West of France, to starting again with The Style Council in 1983 and building something together, to gigs around the U.K. and Europe – Japan and Australia – and a massive appreciation of Paul’s incredible work ethic. The solo ‘comeback’ and starting again for the third time with the massive satisfaction for everyone on it becoming such a huge success.
We also hear about his huge love and appreciation for the Weller family and special memories of John Weller, Paul’s dad and manager who sadly passed away in 2009.
Click your preferred podcast platform to listen or hit the player below…
EP86 – Martin Hopewell – Booking Agent – The Jam, The Style Council, Paul Weller Solo – ”Climbing, forever trying…” – Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul
Martin chats about those early days (winging it with John) finding (or making up) venues and booking gigs for The Jam from 1977 to 1982.
What are your memories and favourite live gigs during that time?
Were you in the crowd for their first nationwide tour in the Summer of 1977 promoting In the City?
How about The Modern World one at the tail end of that year?
Perhaps your best memory comes from 1978’s Seaside Tour of the South Coast or the Apocalypse Tour of the UK a few weeks later?
What about the Jam ’em In Tour of May 1979 or the nationwide tour to promote the Setting Sons album that November / December? 1980s Sound Affects Tour, 1981’s The Bucket & Spade Tour or The Trans Global Unity Express Tour of the UK in 1982.
Perhaps your first experience of The Jam came with Oh Gawd, Not Another Tour or with the emotional farewell Beat Surrender 82 tour that ended at Brighton on 11 December 1982.
Share your special memories of The Jam Live at the bottom of this page.
The Style Council live sounds like an incredible experience all round too – from Council Meetings to ’85s Internationalists UK Tour to Red Wedge in 1986 to Renaissance and the General Election tour in 1987 – heck I’d even be happy to grab a time machine back to 1989’s The Style Council Revue at the Royal Albert Hall…
Listeners to the podcast overseas may want to share tales from the Far East & Far Out gigs in Japan or visits to Tokyo and Kobo in 1987, the trip to Beverley Hills and New York in 1984 or perhaps you experienced 1985’s Tumblin Down Under four dates in Australia or the various dates for The Style Council in Europa or at KRO Eindexamenfestival in Hertogenbosch!
Share your memories of The Style Council Live at the bottom of this page.
As you know, my Paul Weller experiences kicked off with the solo career and the discovery of Uh Huh Oh Yeh! in 1992. My first Weller gig was at Poole Arts Centre on Monday 12th October 1991. Ocean Colour Scene (in their early baggy phase) were the support act. MIND BLOWN and even more hooked.
Memorable gigs fly into my brain all the time, from Cheltenham Town Hall in the Heavy Soul years and the random guy standing on top of the speaker stack, to the sheer joy of Weller and an acoustic guitar for the magic of Days of Speed in Bristol – and a support act of Noel Gallagher. Me saying to my brother “God, who is this muppet” as this guy sat and played a couple of Oasis covers!.
Managing to stand at the front for an entire afternoon at Petworth House for the Illumination Tour (July 4th 2004) incredibly not having a drink all day for fear of losing my place for a wee and enjoying one of the greatest gigs I’d ever seen – and Paul in the coolest White pin-striped suit that I’d ever seen.
Saturday 26th July 2008 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and the maddest mosh pit I’ve ever been for 22 Dreams with support from The Rifles and Arno Carstens.
The utter ridiculousness of five nights at The Royal Albert Hall in 2010 for Wake Up The Nation. Front row for 4 of the 5. Feeling at one with the energy of the music, from the floorboards up and all that.
Lord knows how many Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at the same venue. Hearing ‘Why Walk When You Can Run’ for the first time during one of them and loving it instantly.
The first night of Sonik Kicks at London’s Roundhouse in March 2012 – with the brilliant The Magic Numbers in support – me front row – leaning over the barrier – singing along to the songs – even though the album hadn’t been released yet. I was lucky enough to have a promo copy through work!.
Oh and the sheer beauty of Royal Festival Hall for the True Meanings live shows in October 2018.
Loads more gigs over the years – at least one for each album – BBC sessions at the Radio Theatre, Festivals and Forest gigs.
Paul Weller Live is a very special experience – here’s to the latest tour which kicks off Sunday March 27th and those lucky enough to be making memories for the first time or the 100th.
Share your memories of Paul Weller Solo Live at the bottom of this page.
Thanks again to Martin Hopewell for sharing his stories on the podcast – and for booking so many of those shows that you and I have enjoyed over the years too!.
3 thoughts on “Episode 86: Martin Hopewell – The legendary agent on booking gigs for The Jam, The Style Council & Paul Weller Solo…”
First saw the Jam on the Bucket and Spade tour in 81, Irvine Magnum in Scotland and was lucky enough to see them a further 3 times after that. I was only 15 and was blown away, they came off the bus and chatted to the fans in the afternoon for the sound check. They meant so much to me growing up and still do. I was also lucky enough to see the Style Council on 4 or 5 occasions and Mr Weller solo countless times. I think you’d be hard pushed to come across a band or artist that meant so much to so many, they really changed my life. I bumped into Paul strolling along the prom in Puerto Banus on holiday one day, shook his hand and he actually stopped to chat and he asked me what I’d been up to and if I was having a nice holiday, he’s so nice and genuine. True legend.
The Jam 1982 Royal Court Liverpool was electric.
Style Council at Mountford Hall Liverpool for charity with Madness and bronski beat. £1:50 a ticket and a bar at back of the room. They played 4 songs cause I think that’s all they had then in March 83. Jim from Winsford.
Great interview, I’ve been to Black Barn a few times filming interviews with Paul and met John a couple of times when I’ve been on stage camera, I can imagine the camaraderie on the road with the crew…Solid Bond!!, I was surprised first time I met Paul, I was expecting a moody bugger, he was nothing of the sort, chatty, witty, full of energy too. Martin seems like a real down to earth chap, unusual in the live music industry especially as he’s been CEO of Primary. Some of the tales will be outrageous no doubt about it. Keep up the good work.