Later With Jools Holland – 23rd April.


An odd edition of Jools, who is usually pretty on top of things. Musically, that is. Featuring Kate Nash (why?!), Plan B, Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra, Band Of Horses, Jack Bruce and Melody Gardot, this week’s episode was a little thin, but had some tiny glimmers of hope in it. I’m pretty sure Jools was pissed again, and he kept going on about how they were in a smaller studio this week due to the election. The election isn’t until the 6th, and not everyone has a studio Mr Holland. Shh.

So! What happened? Not much, but Kate Nash made a sort-of effort, with contributions from her new album. Which has taken long enough, and by the sounds of it, was not worth the wait. Traditionally I’m not a fan anyway, as her lyrics are dire, her music is incredibly uninspiring and she tries for the “I don’t want to be here” vocal style, but this fails as it’s a terrible style anyway, and her slightly more refined sound nowadays shows that she obviously has a better voice than that – so why not use it? I couldn’t see much difference from one song to the next, and, as I was using iPlayer, chose to skip the last song instead as it grated just a little too much…

Band Of Horses felt far too much like indie landfill to me, and they were! They tried to pull off the bad haircuts and facial hair ‘thing’ (which you can only do at the moment if you’re Fleet Foxes), and didn’t sway from the ‘verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus’ style of things. We’re not children! I need something less formulaic and more creative. These first two acts felt very much like music you didn’t have to listen to – it just occurred for background sounds – which is a huge shame as music can be incredible, and what’s the point in putting in all that hard work just to come out with background noise after it all?

Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra I have seen before in Bristol, so I was a little more tolerant of these than the first two, but I felt they didn’t play their best stuff. It was more like they were trying to give the audience a well-rounded view of what they could do, but missed out some of the better solos, and didn’t include the excellent parts when the whole brass section comes together. Plus there was far too much free jazzing again (any free jazz is too much), and the female vocalist insisting on doing her weird squeaky animal noises, which is not what I want to hear! Dear me. Sort it out Dammers. You also need new teeth, and I assume you can afford them. It is not a good look.

Plan B – sounds like a rapper’s name, turns out he IS but writes generic stuff that you hear and never know who it’s by. The song he started with, ‘ She Said’, I have heard many times before (God knows how!), but I thought it was sung by a bird and don’t really like it. I also had to skip past his last song as I also found him pretty dull and uninspiring. Shame shame shame. And disappointing. Whatever happened to good music?! Whatever happened to just being satisfied with what’s available?

Melody Gardot – now this I liked! It was subtle and minimalist, but not in an irritating The xx kind of way. It was good jazz (wow it actually exists?!), and sort of had a “Paris in the 1920s” feel to it. Far more interesting and good than anything else on this week, and I would actually consider going to see her if she was around in the area. Having said that, she was wearing sunglasses when it wasn’t needed. Did add to the super-cool “I’m a decent jazz artist and I know it” look though. Good call Gardot.

Jools get some better artists! Next week (ie. this Friday) features Gorillaz, Mos Def, and (sickeningly) Laura Marling. Better music is a-coming.

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