Later With Jools Holland – 21st May.


This week’s Jools was something of a disappointment. Which is a shame as it’s usually awesome, but most, if not all, of the musicians were so dull it left me wanting to scream “SOMEONE do SOMETHING a LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT why don’t you?” at the television screen. The episode featured Alicia Keys (oh I remember her…), Yeasayer, White Rabbits (who?), Jeff Beck (ohh..), The Creole Choir Of Cuba and Macy Gray (I remember her too. Though don’t want to).

So, not exactly an inspiring line-up so much. Presumably I shouldn’t have expected so much…

So. Alicia Keys. I thought… she was ok. She had some ‘catchy’ songs (not a fan of that expression), but most seemed a little tacky – almost ranging into the Lionel Richie scale of things – especially in lyric content. ‘Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart’? *vomit* Can’t people sing about a different subject for once? She appears to have turned from a meek piano player into a soul queen of sorts, except it wasn’t soul and she isn’t a queen – just giving the impression of being one. A good performance though I suppose – she looked like she was enjoying it – but she was wearing what looked like a dustbin liner and neck-breaking heels. Odd combination. This seems like the sort of music that middle-aged housewives might listen to – like the female version of Jack Johnson/Michael Buble/Jamie Cullum/James Blunt (sorry Ed have I just named all your favourite artists?) – and I wasn’t very inspired. Try again Miss Keys.

Yeasayer – I am confused by this band. I can’t work out if they’re good or bad, or whether I like them or not. My brother would probably state that I’m being moronic and that they were the best band around at the moment, especially considering “they haven’t even reached the peak of their musical career”, but I’m still dubious. It is definitely odd. It sounds good to the ear – it doesn’t make them bleed – but is it too easy to listen to to have sticking power for the future? They played ‘Ambling Alp’ first – a good tune but the lyrics are so cliché and tacky – and god knows what they were wearing. Good performance – good live – though you got the impression that they had all come together because they answered an advert in the New York Times, not because they were childhood friends or something. It pains me to say so but I think they were the best thing on this week. And the lead singer needs his non-mic-holding hand cut off. Stop waving it around.

Macy Gray – WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUR VOICE? Musically, quite boring and generic I suppose. Not that interesting at all really. Is a giant. Literally, not metaphorically. Looked so bored when being interviewed. Must have been hammered when being interviewed, but then I remind myself, so is Jools. Now that makes for a very boring interview, unless you’re one of the drunken parties.Ask her about MUSIC, Jools, not food.  Sounded like a pretentious idiot when she said “I wanted to make a commercial album, but I’m not good at conformity”. How ironic considering how commercial it was. I am not interested.

Jeff Beck – Possibly the least dynamic character ever on Jools Holland. And he didn’t even write the song he played – a cover of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. That really aggrivated me – it’s not like it hasn’t been done before – and it wasn’t even a good cover (too slow, too slow). I wondered if he was playing it to coincide with the ending of the BBC’s talent search for the next Dorothy. At 65, Jeff Beck should be wearing something with sleeves. I would have prefered to see the 1960s black and white footage that was played of him over and over again instead of having to watch him now. I don’t even like the Yardbirds that much.

(You see my point about it being a disappointment?)

White Rabbits – OH COME ON SOMEONE BRANCH OUT A LITTLE BIT! Please?! I’d rather listen to experimental music more than this indie landfill rubbish that doesn’t ever vary the bloody programme. On the plus side, they had some good drum beats, can write a good melody and were enthusiastic in their performance, but I’m looking for something different! And they need better grammar – ‘They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong’, I am afraid, makes no sense. They HAVE done wrong, we HAVE done wrong. Yes? Yes. I am disappointed that their song titles make for more interesting writing than their music.

Creole Choir Of Cuba – Despite their excellent costumes, their energy and what seemed like genuine happiness, and their alliteration-based name, these people, too, were a disappointment. They sang well, but were just a choir. I thought they might be a bit weird, possibly eccentric, maybe even… quirky *shock*, but they were none of these and were another set of musicians to add to the “I’m Not Bothered By” pile. If you can sing that well, why not do something with it? Bring lions and adders on to the stage, make it an epic opera – anything – just branch out from the regular.

Jools, your show is usually a hive of diversity. This week was exceptionally dull. Get some better musicians. Better ones than the ones you have lined up for next week – MGMT, Corinne Bailey Rae, Crystal Castles, Tom Jones, Metric and Vampire Weekend. *sigh*.

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