Paul Weller cuts a lithe figure in a black crew neck sweater and dove grey slacks that ride a couple of inches off the ground. His round-toed calfskin Chelsea boots gleam under the lights. A flashgun snaps at his every move as his gimlet eye rakes the clothes rack that lines the far wall of the West End showroom.
It is here in Milan, far north in the Bel Paese [Italy, the "beautiful country"], that a cultural pragmatism has attracted those of a more refined musical streak. And it is at Biko, a club not far from the throng of the city centre, that Trio Valore has convened to play to a Milanese crowd intent on devouring live music as would they their mammas' pasta e fagioli. It's a crowd of stylists who want to dance, and they do.
As The Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' fades out over the PA, the feedback groan of Barrie Cadogan's Gibson splits the air, a white umbilical guitar lead coiling obscenely into the amp. Five minutes into the gig and the band has put a grip on a crowd who twist with delight in the dark womb of the club.