Later With Jools Holland.. 13th May.

Back by (apparent!) popular demand, here is a Jools review from last Friday’s episode. I hadn’t actually watched it until today, as I have work hideous early on Saturdays and there was no BenchLad to watch it with. However, it was definitely worth it as it turned out to be quite an episode. Which is a bonus as it would seem I should be more positive/open minded when it comes to music..

So, let us get going. Gappy Ranks. Comedy name, although probably shouldn’t be judging if it is his actually name. It would seem he also produces under the name of Jacob Lee Williams. Could it be more different. Anyway, mr reggae man he was. Not sure if I actually like reggae.. I mean it’s good, and it sounds perfect for the summer (thus, apt timing), but this did sound like everything else I’d been exposed to of that genre before hand. And why must he preach?! Yes, Jools is great, yes life can be pretty good, but shut up! He also mentioned Bob Marley twice at least in one song, which I thought was a retarded thing to do as it just reminded the audience of how much better he was than you. I am not a fan of the “I love everything” based lyrics with reggae. Why must they do this so much? Is it the weed? Am I stereotyping? Should I be more open and think “you know what, it’s nice someone appreciates life”? Either way, this was not for me. I think if I knew him he’d get so annoying I’d disconnect his microphone. Ps. No dreads – what’s up with this?

Randy Newman – So as not to swing on with another negative note, let’s talk about someone awesome! I didn’t know much about this man, but turns out he’s written an awful lot of stuff for an awful lot of people and they should be pretty grateful. He was very funny in his interview (SLIGHTLY better interviews this week Jools, but keep working on it yes?), pointing out that he “couldn’t sing as well as Brian Wilson” *cough* amongst other blatant sarcasms. His two songs were also good, especially lyrics-wise, and I think I much prefer one man and his piano to one man and his guitar. This was a hit for me.

Brian Wilson – Most definitely a miss. This was possibly the most cringe-worthy thing I’ve seen on Jools. He did two Beach Boys songs, and one Gershwin number. Which was odd. There was no new material here! He wasn’t even using his legendary status to churn out mindless drivel, he was just recreating, badly, some stuff that was much better back then. He really can’t sing anymore (my first thoughts were “alcohol” or “stroke”, turns out it’s been this way for quite some years..), and needed his backing band to cover this up and achieve some harmonies. It was outstandingly painful. And could someone please tell him not to recreate the past? The Gershwin number was bizarre, not as good as the original, and sort of sounded either like a 1950s Four Lads version of it, or like Rent-A-Mob had just invaded the studio. Mr Wilson, your days are over.

Warpaint – First thoughts were – girl band? Really? I am extremely dubious.. But they turned out to be one of my favourite things on here. Wikipedia sites them as “experimental art rock” which makes them sound so much more pretentious than they actually are. This was really rather good, very enjoyable, and I might even listen to their entire album on Sunday (only day off..). I liked the slightly minimalist sound too it, though it wasn’t minimalist like that tosser James Blake, only from not creating too much of a blast of sound with their instruments. Shoegazey voices (well I thought so anyway), not very conventional and I actually enjoyed it. It must be good.

Alison Krauss and Union Station – When I first heard of this new album, I thought it was another collaboration, but apparently they’ve been doing stuff for years. I LOVE THIS BIRD. She is ubiquitous yet awesome – how has she managed that? The crowd seemed to love her too. The sound of the songs is also perfect for the summer (like mr reggae man), but so much better. More like what you’d want after a picnic or for a road trip, instead of a reggae party etc. The thing is, I thought it wasn’t cool to like country music? Not that I’ve actually ever abided by that, I will fully admit that I am rather a fan of what I’ve heard. This bird has the voice, the music and the looks – why is she not our favourite pop star? She even writes her own material and plays her own instruments for crying out loud!

Arctic Monkeys – First off, I despise the hype around this band. It’s kind of like the hype around Kings Of Leon, except more understandable because the Arctic Monkeys are actually good. However, scrap away the layers of hype and you’re left with what is now a very accomplished band. This wave of material I found was much improved from the first, although the initial stuff was still good. The songs on here seemed more aggressive and raw, and the song writing seemed to have developed more too. Which is definitely a good thing. SO much better this time around, I might actually take an interest in this band now.

So there you have it, two misses and four hits – far better than the usual – and next week (well in about five/six hours actually), we have The Strokes (oh. great), Seasick Steve (oh great!), The Monkees (what, really?!) and Wild Beasts (oh come on now..). It could be great or it could be dire. And I’ll review it sooner this time too. Promise.


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