Home > Arts, Free stuff, London, Music > jools holland and his r&b orchestra, bbc radio theatre

jools holland and his r&b orchestra, bbc radio theatre

The end song, with Paul O'Grady brought onto the stage too!

You probably by now realise that I’m a bit of a sucker for a big band or orchestra, so it will come as no surprise that I have always wanted to see Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra live – but have just never got around to it.  Mainly because tickets to events that they have been at have been rather expensive, and because I have never managed to ‘win’a ticket to the Hootenanny, and have had to make do with just watching it on the TV every New Year!

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I spotted that he was doing a show for Radio 2 and quickly applied for (the obviously free) tickets.  And I got them, just when I’d forgotten I’d applied!

I have a bad recent track record for not managing to get into show recordings (as they always oversubscribe to make sure they get a full audience), and so was taking no chances.  I got ‘let out’ of work an hour early and made my way to the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House (where we had the very civilised protests for 6Music).  As I went past on the bus, I was pretty dismayed to see how long the queue was already at 4.20, and even more upset that there was a burst water main and we sat in traffic for 15 minutes!  But I got in.  The process of actually getting in is rather long-winded and boring, but we were all seated in the gorgeous theatre about 10minutes before the live broadcast started at 6.

It really is a fantastic place to see live music as the sound is brilliant, and yet the audience isn’t very large – probably about 250 I reckon.

I was celeb-spotting as I walked in as I saw Tony Blackburn and Ken Bruce, but then I spotted Paul O’Grady – which was weird as this is the second time in six weeks that I’ve been in an audience with him.  People will start talking 😉

So, the band took their place, and Terry Wogan introduced Jools Holland – and he came out and did exactly what he does best – played the piano with such an effortless grace, awe-inspiring style and unbelievable speed that makes you think it can’t possibly be just one person playing it.

We were also treated to others (mainly Radio 2 presenters) ‘doing a turn’ with the orchestra – highlights were Clare Teal, who I had never heard of who had an absolutely amazing voice, the beautifully chocolate-voiced Huey Morgan who did his best Frank Sinatra bit, the amazing Ruby Turner, the (now very elderly) ska-legend (and one time Special) Rico Rodriguez and also Jamie Cullum, who have never really liked but who didn’t sound too bad with such a brilliant band.  I reckon he could be the Jools Holland of the future when Jools Holland is too old to be Jools Holland – but he is nowhere near it now – watching the two of them play at the same time, you could see that Jools is all effortless and loose-handed and feels the music, whereas Jamie’s playing looks a little to measured and practiced.  I guess time and experience may change that – and his voice has definitely changed a bit, it didn’t grate on me as much as it used to 🙂

You can hear the whole show on iPlayer for 7 days – and I strongly advise you do as it was fantastic!

It was the best hour I have had for free in ages!  **UPDATE – They now have the whole show televised on the site for 29 days**

Playlist

  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — Bumble Boogie (absolutely amazing piano-work)
  • Clare Teal — I Just Wanna Make Love To You (featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra)
  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — Love (lead vocals by Rico Rodriguez)
  • Paul Jones — Remember Me (featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra) (guy from Manfred Mann)
  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — Endless Love  (there was an AMAZING trumpet solo on this one!)
  • Huey Morgan — Fly Me To The Moon (featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra)
  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — I Went By (lead vocals by Louise Marshall)
  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — Father Time
  • Nigel Ogden and Frank Renton — Honeysuckle Rose (featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra)
  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — Roll Out Of This Hole
  • Jamie Cullum — Hallelujah I Love Her So (featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra)
  • Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra — Get Away Jordan
  • The Radio 2 All Star Band — Enjoy Yourself (featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra) Lead vocals by Rico Rodriguez
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  1. June 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Wow thanks! You’re right – a really great hour of foot-tapping.

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