Later with Jools Holland – 27th September 2011

I was less apathetic about this week’s edition than last, and there was more to yell at the television and pay attention to, which was nice.

I couldn't bring myself to put a picture of them in

First off was Kasabian. These chaps have done some reasonable things in the past and I think I prize them higher than most other indie-landfill, but I still don’t find it amazing. Plus that guitarist really needs a haircut (you know the one I mean, he looks like a cross between Noel Fielding and Elgar. Two people who I think have never been crossed before). The lyrics really are shocking, a child could do better, especially in the chorus of ‘Velociraptor’. I was wondering if the lyrics were supposed to be representing something, but I don’t think they’re that insightful. That said, it’s not bad. Not their best but not bad.

Wilko Johnson – oh hello creepy-looking man who needs some hair to stop him looking like a singing skull.. I was very impressed with this though, especially given the fact he’s nearly 70 and I’ve always thought, whenever I’ve seen him billed on events listings that it would be tragically bad. It was pretty Dr Feelgood-esque (as you’d imagine), and he had two Blockheads with him (all coming from Essex I think). Classic but good, and he was “with it” in interview too, advertising the support band on tour with them. And he seemed to care about what he was doing. Which is nice.

James Morrison – oh my god oh my god no! This was so hideous I nearly threw up. The man and the guitar slot doesn’t even play his own guitar? I feel I’ve been short-changed. In these situations I’d at least like to be able to say “on the plus side, he can sing,” but his voice was so excruciatingly modern it was painful. It’s almost as painful for me as it’s to be for him. He, as a musician, was described as “supermarket soul” by Benchlad, a phrase which works in many ways – essentially he is as dull as shopping in the supermarket, but also his CDs mainly will be bought by middle aged mums when they see it in the charts in the supermarket. How very depressing. He’s so whiney and boring I actually had to mute it the second time round.

Wretch 32 feat. Josh Kumra – what the hell is this? If this is supposed to be fusion, they’ve failed. It’s awful. Like they’ve tried to do amazing layering in a traditional a cappella style but they just sound like they’re talking over each other. Whatever it is in the background it is NOT music. Why two drum kits? Really, what are all those people on stage doing? There’s some bird warbling to herself like a self-obsessed, possessed demon, reminiscent of The Exorcist crossed with Laura Marling. They have two male leads – decide on one! AND WHERE ARE MY VIOLINS? If you feature strings, put them on stage. There’s enough room. Get rid of the surplus. This was truly terrible.

Pajama Club – Turns out, the chap on drums (I think? It’s hard to tell) was first in Split Enz and then Crowded House? Did not know. However, all that (relatively) decent heritage didn’t make for a winning number this time. Maybe it’s just got progressively worse over the years for Neil Finn, I don’t know. This was very much a lot of nothing though, like they’d tried to usher in some modern electro parts but failed on the minimalist front. I was bored.

Fatoumata Diawara – I wonder how many times Jools had to practise that name.. Anyway, this bird was from Mali, and aside from Wilko Johnson, she was the best thing on this week. She clearly came in at the last minute to fill the man a guitar slot (equal ops on Jools it would seem) that James Morrison cried all over, and it was rather good. She sang in what I presume was her native language, which I much preferred than her singing in English (I think I like trad elements in my music?), and gently plucked her guitar whilst singing. She looked so bloody happy too! Awesome vocals, I’m glad this was here to save the show.


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