Later With Jools Holland – 7th May.

This was much less of a painful episode than I thought it was going to be – on the surface, grunge ‘queen’ Courtney Love, cat-strangler Joanna Newsom, and should-have-retired-years-ago Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne isn’t exactly an inspiring or appealing line up. However, I actually enjoyed this week’s Jools.

As well as Hole, Mumford and Sons and Miss Newsom, Jools also had Lissie (who? She was good though), Angelique Kidjo and Ian Hunter. It was a mixed bag, but one that lends itself extremely well to a good review. So!

Hole. Never got into these peoples really, mainly as I don’t like the sound, partly as Nirvana, and therefore Hole, appear to be something of a “year 9 default band”, and my suspicions were pretty much confirmed at this performance. The second song on the Friday night edition was much better, with good lyrics and it actually sounded a little different from the one before, but I didn’t find anything hugely appealing in their music. Courtney Love looks like someone’s mum – that confused me – I know she IS one, but you’d expect her more to be doing the school run and cooking supper for everyone instead of wearing shoes that could actually break your neck. The trouble with this band is that the controversy surrounding them (esp. since the reformation) (Courtney Love and Larkin boy? Really?!) seems to be more interesting than their music. Oh dear.

Mumford and Sons – Heard so much about these people, usually with the “you’ll really like them!” recommendation, and this is pretty much the first time I’d listened. It’s alright really. Not too bad – I’d probably go and see them live if it wasn’t too much effort (ie. when they play at Glasto, if there’s nothing else on, I’ll probably be there). Most of their songs seemed to start all the same – a bad point – but usually went off on its own tangent after the intro was over. I can see why they could be controversial and disliked – they do appeared modern pretentious folk (FOLK SHOULD NOT BE PRETENTIOUS! JESUS!), and all dress like they live in Hobbiton, but having said they, they have made some very listenable-to music. Possible summer music. Their sound does not offend my ears, and this is quite a rare thing really. They did have quite a gentle, ambling sound though, and this didn’t really match the intense enthusiasm thrown into the mix, especially by the keyboard player. Who would have been bleeding from the forehead had their set gone on any longer.

Interviews with Iggy and Ozzy – this needs a mention, as, aside from never really being interested in who Jools interviews, he should not be interviewing someone who can’t really string two sentences together (Mr Osbourne), as this leads to someone who can’t ask the right questions trying to get answers from someone who can’t really talk, and I am not in the least bit intrigued by someone who dances around on a purple-themed insurance advert with his top off when he should be at home smoking a pipe and wearing a dressing gown at his age. It’s a sad thing I know Iggy Pop for that more than anything else. Blasted modern culture.

Joanna Newsom – now this one was an interesting one indeed. I was expecting to be screaming at the television to drown out her voice, but it wasn’t so bad this time. I was made to do contemporary dance to her album ‘The Milk-Eyed Mender’, and surely just the idea of that is enough to put anyone off? Her main downfall is producing some lovely music, but ruining the whole thing by her infuriating voice. Her ‘untrainable’ (her words), child-like wail. However, it appears to have balanced itself out a little, and I could actually appreciate her music and her harp playing. I am an advocate of musicians who don’t play the guitar currently (it seems so cliché…), and the harp is something of a beautiful instrument. Good work Newsom, I was actually impressed. I still wouldn’t consider buying your triple album though.

Ian Hunter – Urgh. Give it a rest. Retire. I’m not bothered. I don’t even really like Mott The Hoople. I was bored by this man and this music, and found the most interesting about the whole performance was that his haircut hadn’t changed in 30 years. Big wow.

Angelique Kidjo – Now she was cool. Really! I was very impressed – the music here had some clear African roots going on (some traditional instruments flying around somewhere I think, drums and beats and so on), but had a Western contemporary layer to it as well, and they looked like they were having so much fun. Very pleasant to the ear, and with some awesome dancing, this was a very good performance. I would indeed consider going to see her and her band. Go Kidjo!

Lissie – She only had one song! This was disappointing as I would have liked to have seen/heard more of her, but what she did was quite incredible. The one song she sung, ‘Oh Mississippi’, was one of those heartfelt country numbers that would probably have you slitting your wrists by the end if you listened to the lyrics properly, but wow! Her voice! So powerful from such a small person. I kind of wanted her to play the piano too, but she and Jools made a good team. And either she’s special needs or was really, really drunk as she didn’t seem in control of her limbs during the song, but that didn’t seem to matter as it was one of those voices that as soon as it starts singing, everyone listens. Marvellous stuff 🙂

Next week looks awesome – LCD Soundsystem AND lovely lovelies THE NATIONAL. I am so excited.


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