Later With Jools Holland – 16th April.

Jools is back! And given that it’s nearly festival season, this is a particularly exciting time for good music to be featured on television. I mean good music that’s actually good, not stuff that doesn’t mean anything or just slots into the background.

This week, Jools featured Paul Weller, Marina And The Diamonds, Hot Chip, Gogol Bordello, Polar Bear, Villagers and Paul Rodgers, and, oddly, I found the two most well-known/popular ones (Paul Weller and Marina) were the most disappointing.

Paul Weller – It rather seems like this chap only being accepted nowadays because of his big name – but his music on Jools pretty dull (“indie landfill”?), and he should NOT attempt falsetto. Ever. Does rather sound like someone being strangled. There was nothing special in this performance aside from his name, and, as my watching companion said “You’re not Mogwai, you do not need four guitars on stage”. I was not impressed by this music, and much preferred some of the smaller names who had much more interesting music. If anyone else had done it, it feels like it wouldn’t have got very far at all.

Marina And The Diamonds – So boring! Is she only popular because of her eyes? Good performance, good (but odd) range on voice, but the music is awfully dull. It’s just pop, and there feels like no substance to her music. I was not interested but did watch her performance, but it only confirmed my suspicions that she is just another one of the female artists around at the moment who will be forgotten in a few years and won’t be remember for her musical talents. On the plus side, at least she writes her own stuff, which is more than one can say for people who are just a face, singing the music that someone else wrote for them.

Polar Bear – Only allowed a one song slot! But it was lovely: odd considering I don’t like jazz (I felt this wasn’t really jazz, or at least not jazz I have previously been subjected to), and as Eugene Hutz said, it’s quite courageous to just go with music and no lyrics. I would like to see more of this band – I am intrigued.

Hot Chip – Yes! Bloody yes! They played ‘One Life Stand’, ‘I Feel Better’ and ‘Take It In’ from their latest album, which I hadn’t yet listened to. To my surprise (the only feedback I’d been given was that it wasn’t that impressive or groundbreaking), I found impossibly good melodies, and a smoothly cool performance from what looks like some A-level IT students. This was one of my favourite things this week, along with…

Gogol Bordello – Awesome stuff, huge energy, excellently different but sounding good anyway – different because they’re celebrating their many, many different cultures. It was described by Eugene Hutz as ‘transcontinental rock and roll’, and they were not being different for the sake of it and sounding terrible. Lovely Balkan influence but still appealing music. I would be compelled to go and see them now, which is a change from recent thoughts.

Villagers – I found this chap pretty dull really – it felt like if I practised at the guitar I could probably do it (Anyone could). And why gaffer tape a guitar? Nothing special, and slightly frustrating because he was clearly using up too much room where Gogol Bordello or Polar Bear could be playing more tunes… Just another one of those singer-songwriters playing acoustic guitar.

Next Friday’s line up looks a little dubious, as it features Kate Nash, but only the plus side it does have Jerry Dammer’s and his Spatial AKA Orchestra. Could be interesting…


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