Two articles on Natt Weller, taken from The Evening Standard

Off the record

Evening Standard   31.08.07

A bomb in Wardour Street: Natt Weller, son of Paul, reckons his Soho clubnight will ignite a moribund London scene

David Smyth talks to Paul Weller's son, Natt, about London's club scene and casts his eye over what's new on the net.

            Natt Weller


London's club scene is moribund, unimaginative and severely lacking in thrills. So says 19-year-old Natt Weller. With that surname (Dad is Paul, Mum is Style Council singer Dee C Lee) you might expect him to be strapping on a guitar and faithfully following in father's footsteps but a glance at this strikingly glam teenager tells you that he's got a more individual furrow to plough.

There is a music career in the offing, of course - young Weller is currently recording his first EP but cites the theatrical rock and pop of My Chemical Romance, Marilyn Manson and Gwen Stefani as influences rather than The Jam. In the meantime, he's putting his glitzy stamp on the capital's clubland with his own monthly clubnight, Dangerous to Know. It takes place for the second time at Camouf lage on Soho's Wardour Street next Friday, with Sophie Ellis-Bextor DJing and a crowd of heavily made-up boys and girls already getting excited (

So what's wrong with other late night events? "Clubs are either really super gay or pure indie," Natt tells me. "Everything is one thing, there's no mixture. I want to mix a lot of genres into one club - indies, emos, trannies and gays all under one roof, in a cool way."

And that's not all: "People don't try hard enough in London. There's all that 'new rave' crap but putting on a fluorescent T-shirt is not making an effort in my mind. Image isn't everything, but it does say a lot about who you are. I'm all for high finish. I'd like to see more really individual looks."

So speaks a man who spent a few months last year modelling on the catwalks of Japan. Tokyo, particularly its ultra-hip Harajuku-area where every teenager dresses as if they've just landed from Neptune, is the place that most excites him.

"I'd like to start an English Harajuku. The clubs there are just fantastic, amazing, so bright and in your face. When I go out in London I get bored really quickly, I never stay anywhere for that long. And there's nowhere in London I find myself thinking, 'Wow, I've got to go back there again.'"

Dangerous to Know may be that place, for Weller and his highly styled friends at least. Dirty Pretty Things and cool comedian Noel Fielding have already DJed there, and while his rock heritage may help to pull in the familiar faces, he's more interested in his lipstick than his surname. Even his famously dapper dad may not be stylish enough to gain entry.

From October 2007

Natt Weller, son of Paul, describes himself as looking like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Posh Spice. Actually he’s prettier than both, with his smooth 19-yearold skin smothered daily in SPF 50, treated with dermatologist-prescribed products and regularly buffed by microdermabrasion. His hair is straightened and his pale, full-mouthed face is full of MAC.

‘I don’t think of my dad as a celebrity,’ he says of the man they call the Modfather; The Jam and The Style Council icon who was awarded a lifetime achievement award at last year’s Brits. ‘He’s not really a celebrity.’ And yet Paul is name-checked by many modern musicians – most notably, his friend Liam Gallagher – as the inspiration behind modern British pop music as we know it. And his pareddown, mod-cool look had an equally powerful impact on contemporary men’s fashion.

Natt has a completely contrary style but he, too, is stamping his name on London’s youth in the guise of impresario. His club night, Dangerous to Know, launched at Camouflage in Soho in August: Sophie Ellis-Bextor and his great friend Kelly Osbourne (‘She’s a lovely lady’) have both DJed for him, and many of the disillusioned club kids who find London’s scene too categorised have made Natt’s night their home. ‘I really wanted my own club night because I’ve always found other clubs so one way,’ says Natt. ‘I wanted my night to be everything – rock’n’roll, emo, punk, electro rock. My dad came to the last one and he loved it. He was really drunk and sitting chatting to these Nu-Rave guys all night.’

Natt may host edgy evenings for his growing band of followers, but he simply refuses to look me in the eye. This is the only indication that he is still a teenager with some residual awkwardness. He dodges about so determinedly that it’s like interviewing Stevie Wonder. And he keeps his sunglasses on. He starts to rub some kind of ointment on to a new tattoo on his inner forearm. ‘Moi l’Image’ it says in black ink. ‘It didn’t hurt,’ he says in his drawling, slightly camp London tones. ‘I had laser hair removal on my face – I never want a beard – and that hurt much more than the tattoo.’

Natt is the oldest of Paul Weller’s five children. He and his sister Leah are from Paul’s marriage to Wham! and then The Style Council singer Dee C Lee, which ended when Natt was five. ‘I don’t really remember them being together,’ he says. ‘But I do remember my mum smashing their wedding picture over my dad’s head. I remember is as being funny, but I suppose it was quite serious.’ His parents are now great friends who were out at Trader Vic’s recently to celebrate Leah’s 16th birthday.
Natt grew up, and still lives, between his mother’s Holland Park house and his father’s home in Maida Vale. When he was seven, his father had another daughter, Dylan, from a short relationship. I hadn’t seen any details about Dylan’s mother while reading up for the interview so I ask Natt who she is. ‘I don’t know,’ he says. ‘Well, I do know. She’s a make-up artist called Lucy.’ Is she a significant person in your life? ‘ Absolutely not. But when I met Dylan I was really excited.’

He says that he felt no jealousy as his father continued to have children. Paul has a small son and daughter with his girlfriend Sami Stock. ‘I think I’m probably more concerned with the women he’s had them with,’ he says. ‘But the kids are really sweet and I never felt out of place.’
After Addison Primary School, he was sent to Ravenscourt Theatre School in Hammersmith where he stayed until he was 16 and for which he seems to have little affection. ‘The line they used to get kids in was: “Nicholas Lyndhurst went here.” That was it. I went there because it was easier to take time out from a drama school to go on tour with my dad, and I’ve got some mad tour memories. I don’t think many kids of 12 can remember their dad getting thrown off an aeroplane for smoking and getting arrested at Heathrow. I’ve seen far worse and I’m holding back. I think all musicians should take their kids on tour with them.’
As a child, Natt was neither cool nor flamboyant. ‘I was a geek,’ he says. ‘I really liked Star Wars and all that kind of shit. And I liked The X-Files, which is weird because I’m friends with Gillian Anderson now. I think I just get along with people who are really intelligent and really have a real brain. But anyway, I was a sci-fi geek, and then I went through a boyish phase and started doing kung fu and got into Ultimate Fighting and wanted to be a ninja. I still want to be a ninja.’

He’s a bit arrogant, this one. And a bit mad to look at, but likeable, largely because he’s so direct. This, perhaps, is a trait inherited from his father who was always known for his political views and powerfully expressed opinions. ‘He’s really funny as well,’ says Natt. ‘I think a lot of people don’t realise that he’s actually hilarious; I think he should be a comedian.’

It’s true that Weller is not renowned for his joke telling. He is, however, revered as one of the fathers of Britpop. ‘I was always aware that my father was very popular, very big, and I really like my dad’s music as well, to be honest. People assume I must hate it and I don’t really like The
Jam, but I love his solo stuff and I really like The Style Council.’
Natt started wearing make-up at 15, and admits that he looked like ‘some tacky Gothic fan in shitty Rimmel. My make-up skills have got a lot better.’ His schoolfriends responded by assuming he was gay. ‘Of course I’m not gay,’ he says, amused by the very idea. ‘I don’t have a girlfriend but I get a lot of boy and girl attention. To be honest, any boy in make-up expects the fag comments. I don’t mind. Real men wear make-up.’ Paul, not himself a painted man, didn’t bat a bare eyelid. ‘ The only time my dad said anything was when I shaved my eyebrows off and started drawing them on. He didn’t get it.’

As Natt got into cosmetics, he got into music. He sings and plays the guitar and is recording a demo with, he says, record label and management lined up to hear the finished product. He is passionately into the Japanese Visual Shoxx movement. ‘It has a very unique sound and I think, if it was combined with English influences, it could be amazing. There are no limitations; it’s not like it’s just pop or just metal. Image isn’t everything,’ he concedes. ‘But it is important. I mean a real image, not just baggy jeans and a Pete Doherty hat and a grandad cardigan. It’s so boring.’
He is adamant that being Paul Weller’s son adds no pressure and he doesn’t suffer from comparisons. ‘My image isn’t a gimmick,’ he says. ‘But I think that if I was to get an Oasis mod haircut and wear a parka then people would think I was playing off what my dad has done. But how me and my dad look and what we’re into, our music, it’s all so different I can’t see how you could compare it, aside from the fact that he’s a musician and I’m a musician.’
Natt has given up smoking, except for the odd cigar, and says that he is not a party animal, despite a taste for absinthe. ‘Bohemian absinthe,’ he sighs lovingly. Then he packs away his make-up, has a quick bitch about Peaches Geldof, and is gone. Natt Weller may look like a bit of a lady but he’s got balls. He’s going to be fun to watch.