Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra & Clive Gregson – AECC, Aberdeen – 22/11/12
Everyone knows that Jools Holland knows music; and this concert proved that he also knows how to play amazingly and knows some top notch musicians.
To start with we were treated to Clive Gregson singing Little More Love, just him and his guitar in the middle of the stage. His set list was intermingled with some stories of his life and made for fascinating listening all round. In the early 80s he was in a band called Any Trouble but since they split up he has worked with various artists, including playing lead guitar with Nancy Griffiths, and now tours as a solo artist. The lyrics of Download caused me to laugh out loud as he skillfully mixed his old-fashioned ways around modern technology and lingo, and it was interesting to hear his take of Dirty Old Town – his song which Nancy had made famous. Although his tunes included some clever, complicated guitar work, his wish that his fingers would warm up did not seem to come true as he stumbled over some notes and occasional seemed to be strumming overly hard. However, by the time he waved goodbye I was clapping affectionately with the rest of the crowd, nicely warmed up and ready for the main act.
Jools Holland arrived on stage with 16 other musicians and 2 backing singers, the full details of which can be found here. There was a mix of appearances and instruments that intrigued and mystified, including a pineapple shaker! His set was a mixture of instrumentals and songs that we could recognise and maybe even sing along to. Periodically a special guest would take pride of place on the stage and “do their thang” and each was a master of their craft. Singing guests were, in order: Rosie May, Louise Marshall, KT Tunstall, Ruby Turner. Each very different, but very talented. My personal highlight was KT Tunstall performing Suddenly I See, she was so energetic and the pleasure she has in performing her hit song shone through. When she went and joined the drummer at the end I wanted to jump up there too!
Another highlight of the evening was Rico Rodriguez MBE, the renowned ska and reggae trombonist. As well as playing in the orchestra, he also sang the lyrics to Pretend, in his own unique style. Quite an unforgettable experience seeing this legend perform in the flesh.
The night contained many moments that took your breath away with the amazingness of it – including a drum solo that was so fantastic I actually stopped breathing. It lasted so long the rest of the orchestra had time to go visit the bar and come back with fresh drinks! Gilson Lavis is a very talented drummer who doesn’t miss a beat, a real pleasure to listen to. The camaraderie between orchestra members was lovely to watch, with them hugging when sharing a microphone, or moving carefully around anyone playing at a given time. They obviously enjoy playing together and that comes through in the music, thoroughly enjoyable.
Just when that awful moment seemed to have arrived when the music would end, they came back on to do an encore. We were treated to When You’re Smiling, with a lovely back drop of the orchestra members pictures alternating between sad and smiley. Then it was Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later than You Think) with us singing along with Rico. To finish up it was All Right O.K. You Win (I’m In Love With You) with Rosie, Louise and Ruby each singing a verse in their own slightly different way.
No-one left the room without a jig in their step or a song on their lips.
Words by Stupid Girl.
Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
Pics by Still Burning.
Jools Holland Website
Clive Gregson Website