Later With Jools Holland.. Friday 22nd April.

A much better, more engaging and varied programme for Mr Jools this evening. Finally! Let us start with the most disappointing (boring) of the night..

k.d. lang. Is it a man? Is it female? Who knows. Who the hell even cares. I found not much inspiring in this, in fact I can’t even really remember what category it would fit best into. I did like her in interview though, so at least she wasn’t a total douche, but is this person supposed to be good and wonderful? I suspect it might be like the Paul Weller fiasco a few series ago, where his music was so dull but it was revered highly because he’s done so much for music. But why be so boring? Did not interest me at all.

Vintage Trouble – ABSOLUTELY amazing. I loved this. Sort of Queens of the Stone Age meets James Brown with a background of blues. Out-freaking-standing. and so much fun. The audience loved this too. For once I am not alone. They looked to be properly enjoying their music too – always a good sign – and the energy was quite outstanding. But then methinks it needs to be for this. Very very good, probably my favourite thing that’s been on Jools this series. Would very much like to see live.

Fleet Foxes – I would very much like it if they did something a little different for this album. But alas. This kind of sounds like everything from the first album except either it’s not quite as good or I’m used to the Fleet Foxes sound. Their harmonies, however, win every time. They should do more a capella, it’s their main asset. Need more inspiration.

Maverick Sabre – I’m not entirely sure what this guy was trying to achieve.. He clearly wanted a race change though, he did not sound like a caucasian chap when singing. It wasn’t too bad though, perfectly listenable to and not too offensive, though the voice thing did put me off. Hm. Not much else to say here..

The Agitator – this was.. weird. Really weird. Though it gets better on the second listen once you know what to expect. It was two drum kits (along with drummers), and a man yelling into a microphone, occasionally with a megaphone for assistance. It was really weird! They did pretty well considering that was their entire set though. Occasional melodies made my voices, but I’m not sure how expansive or diverse things would get in a whole album. This was one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen on Jools. In a baffling sort of way though, not in a “get off the screen you’re offending me far too much” kind of way.

Hugh Laurie – oh hello Hugh. Didn’t know you could play the piano. It was pretty good fucking amazing. He’s improv with Jools on the piano was outstanding. Like REALLY outstanding. He might be added to my fantasy dinner party guest list actually, based simply on his double entertainment value. The songs he provided were also very good, I shall be paying more attention to this in future. I wonder if this is the tiny stones before the boulders of stars who can excel in one thing and have a secret musical hobby too. Steve Martin did it last year – and extremely well – and I’m hoping it will continue down the “good men of comedy” line. I don’t want to see Paris Hilton attempting to play the harp or similar. (Actually, I totally do)

Next week (ie. what’s happening tonight but it’s been Bank Holiday etc so I’ve been doing things etc) there’s to be Lykke Li, PJ Harvey and the Unthanks, the latter of which I actually like. Should be good.


Song Of The Day #32.

INXS – Suicide Blonde

Yes. I just went there. This song is AWESOME. Surely this is a choon? Despite the 80s slightly hazy sound and the doubt as to whether any of the instruments are really being played or all synthesised. Who cares! It’s awesome.

Later With Jools Holland.. Friday 15th April.

This wasn’t the best edition of Jools I’ve ever seen, but there was still some merit to it. It was quite diverse, that is certainly true. Let us get down to business. I’d like to go with the extremity sandwich from last week but nothing really pissed me off (an improvement, surely), and nothing jumped out at me. So I’ll just run through them.

Cee-Lo Green– I’m very aware that this man looks like a bouncer and a pimp at the same time. He can sing though, so that’s a bonus. I was slightly confused by his all-female band, especially considering they seemed to be half-commited to playing their instruments. But I guess.. He’s a good song writer, I guess. I think he is? He features way to much on Jools, but he seems like a nice enough fellow, and good at entertaining. And he’s invaded all the radio channels that matter, so I’m going with the idea that he’s good. It was a good performance too. I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to him though.

Gregory Porter – This guy was wearing the most bizarre headdress, which somehow seemed to work with the rest of his very formal and respectable attire, and although he only did one song, I thought it was rather good. Very good voice and performance. That said, there isn’t much else to talk about here. It was a positive of the show though.

Robbie Robertson – Who is this man? Is this a case of “old rockers don’t die, they just turn to country music”? It was bland, I’m not going to lie – I was pretty unimpressed and uninspired with this. Background music. And I really couldn’t tell the difference between each song. Apparently it was a good performance though? Oh well, it passed me by completely. And his band looked so bored too..

Josh T Pearson – Oh I’ve heard so much about this man.. He’s definitely a grower, he doesn’t jump out at you right away. Well not at me anyway. I find this man is all about the lyrics. And although his accent drive me up the wall, it does suit the style very well. I would like to state that he’s better at guitar than Jimi Hendrix. I’ve been exposed/told to listen to this man a little too much, so it’s kind of put me off of him, but give it time methinks. I think I’m seeing him later in the year anyway, so I should probably get going on it. A melancholy person, but this seems to be a heartbroken person anyway. It’s not going to be too cheerful is it. Epic beard though.

Seun Kuti with Egypt 80 – Enjoyable stuff, but not exactly too different from his Afrobeat counterparts ie. the rest of his family. Mr Fela (Daddy Afrobeat) Kuti makes his songs good but too long, and Femi (brother) makes his songs good and the right length. Seun is not that good but a goof length. So really I’m saying that Femi is the best one here, and Seun just didn’t quite cut it this time. But I do like the sound of the Afrobeat so it was better than most.

Bootsy Collins – ONLY PLAYED ONE TINY BIT OF BASS WITH JOOLS ON PIANO?! What the hell man?! But he did have the most awesome sunglasses on. They were stars. AND aviators. Coolest dude ever. A little eccentric though.

Glasvegas – Erm.. Second song was better than the first, but it was all a bit showy and attitudey – which really hacks me off. The second song sounded pretty good though, but again it didn’t inspire me fantastically and I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen much again. They should probably focus more on creative innovative music instead of sitting out when all the bands play together at the start of the show.

Next week – Fleet Foxes, k.d. lang (who?) and Hugh Laurie will (hopefully) be entertaining us.. Could be an interesting one.

Song Of The Day #31.

Elbow – Open Arms

Still can’t decide whether I actually like this band or whether I just really like a few songs, and I’ve never really listened to them much before this album. However, this song is fantastic, in an epic, emotional sort of way, and so far I haven’t found a limit of how many times to listen to it in a day. Have a play and then maybe try the rest of the album ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’, which I think is what I should be doing too..

Later With Jools Holland.. Friday 8th April.

Oh hello Jools! He is back in action with his Tuesday and Friday night musical delights, which means this blog is too. And I get to press all my opinions about everything he shows onto you, my esteemed fan base, as this is my blog. Wonderful.

So. Where to begin. I’m not sure what order to babble about in, as does one save the best until last or write about what’s easiest first? I think, today, I shall make a sandwich effect – Worst, Middle (of the proverbial road?), Best. So we start and end with hopefully lots to talk about.

Beady Eye. What were you thinking? The remnants (or majority) of Oasis continue to pour out musical drivel in essentially what is Oasis just in a different guise. I believe we were treated to three songs (THREE!), none of which I could pick out a distinct tune, all of which featured the same structure. And all of which featured exceptionally bored looking band members and Liam “I’m such a knob of a bygone era” Gallagher leaning into the microphone in his usual “couldn’t give a toss” manner, except his arms had nothing else to do. He represents, more and more, the monkey which he so obviously is. Benchlad, amusingly, pointed out that the microphone stand wasn’t quite high enough so he was having to bend his knees to get the original effect that he had so wonderfully mastered in the glory days, but unfortunately this was the most gripping part of the performance. Ps. I hate Oasis.

The Tallest Man On Earth. Yeah. Not bad. Probably my third favourite thing on this week’s edition, but but but.. Can’t people do something different? Man+acoustic guitar is getting a little tedious. Irritatingly, he seemed to base his voice on those dastardly characters the Kings Of Leon (why would you ever do this?!) and his look slightly on Robin Pecknold, but I still quite enjoyed this. I paid attention anyway, which is a huge thing.

Anna Calvi – See, this was good, but not amazing. The sound didn’t seem to be fantastic on this, so that probably didn’t work in her/their favour, but it wasn’t anything special really. And she looked completely incongruous with the guitar. Not that females shouldn’t play them as such, but her outfit with an electric guitar didn’t go. And where were her eyes? My favourite part of this was the odd wheezy instrument that one of her bandmates was playing, along with all the other things she had on her stand. Everyone seems to be enjoying this bird, and I can’t quite see why. As usual..

McCoy Tyner. Just fuck off why don’t you. This is background music with a huge glass of wine at best, and nothing else. Bloody jazz with its improvising and ARGH. I’m not sure, apart from Stravinsky, whether there’s anything quite as divisive.

Raphael Saadiq – I enjoyed this much! It was pleasant to find someone who didn’t look like they were about to have a breakdown (or die of boredom) in their songs. His first song did rather make me think I was watching a PC version of a Buddy Holly song, but there was a properly funky choon after that. I like this indeed, possibly my favourite thing of the evening, as I’m still not entirely sure if I genuinely like the next band.

Elbow. Oh Elbow. How you put me in a quandary. On the surface, they could be looked upon as actually quite boring (I mean really, they’re quite sedate, are they not?), but they do have some properly soulful choons. I think I’ve played ‘Open Arms’ about three times today. They seem to have achieved Arena Status without losing credibility, which Arcade Fire have also managed to do (although they are definitely more exciting). They just sort of crept up in the background without coming to foreground until someone went “Elbow are awesome!” when every household already knows them and no one dislikes them. They’re too inoffensive to be disliked I think, it’s very hard to find something properly wrong with them. Anyway, this evening was a good performance, much enjoyed by the crowd by the sounds of things, and in some places slightly moving. Good work Elbow. Terrible interview with Mr Garvey, Jools, but has there ever been a good one?

And so we come to an end of the first edition. Next week has Cee Lo Green (people seem to want to sleep with him at the moment), Bootsy Collins (!) (I genuinely thought he was dead), a derivative of the Kuti clan and the other man everyone seems to want to sleep with, John T Pearson. Could be an interesting mix..