Mature Times reviews Jools Holland’s Autumn/Winter 2017 Tour at Colston Hall, Bristol
In support of their new album, ‘As You See Me Now’, Jools Holland and José Feliciano have hit the road with Jools’ renowned Rhythm and Blues Orchestra on a 35-date UK tour. MT was delighted to catch a performance at the Colston Hall in Bristol on Saturday night.
Jools needs no introduction; his iconic BBC TV show ‘Later….’ has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and his regular, and much anticipated, concerts speak for themselves. His special guests are always a joy, and at the performance we attended we were treated to not only the finger picking brilliance of Jose Feliciano, but also the magnificent Ruby Turner and the soulful tones of Louise Marshall and local girl, Beth Rowley.
The first set was Jools and his orchestra at their consummate best; foot tappingly brilliant. Their rendition of ‘My Old Man Said Follow the Van’ was as original as it was enjoyable. To say that Jools is a consummate professional, highly talented musician and an engaging entertainer is a huge understatement. He takes care to showcase all the individual members of the orchestra and engages with the audience in a way that makes you feel like you really do know him. There was a back screen on stage that showed close-ups of Jools and the orchestra’s artful playing and at one point, a particularly engaging short film.
All the chat was about boogie woogie, tales of a previous visit to Bristol in the dim and distant, pre-fame past, and meetings with Fats Domino. The humour flowed as delightfully as the music. The orchestra in full throttle is an invigorating sight and an auditory delight. The whole performance has the relaxed, chilled feel of a bunch of musicians indulging their passion, whilst at the same time being as tight and professional a performance as you’re likely to see.
José is now 72 and while his voice is still strong, he is clearly a little frail these days and this seemed quite pertinent when he and Jools sang the title track of their new CD ‘As You See Me Now’. His mini-set started with ‘California Dreamin’’and finished with his classic, ‘Light My Fire’. In between we were treated to ‘Let’s Find Each Other Tonight’, ‘Feliz Navidad’, ‘Hit The Road Jack’ with Louise Marshall and his new song ‘New Year’. Jools’ captivating boogie-woogie piano playing – who knew fingers could move that fast?! – mixed with José’s unique guitar playing added a whole new aspect to the sound we have come to expect from Jools and his fabulous orchestra.
The show built to a final blazing, high octane set featuring the one and only Ruby Turner, who was in magnificent voice and in full-on energetic flow on songs like ‘Let the Good Times Roll’. By this time the entire audience was on its feet, boogieing away and singing along with gusto. A truly memorable evening and a wonderful pre-Christmas treat. Don’t miss it!
The tour continues this month and if you can make one of these performances, you won’t be disappointed:
Colston Hall, Bristol
Sunday 10th, December
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Wednesday 13th and Thurday 14th, December
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Friday 15th, December
Brighton Centre, Brighton
Saturday 16th, December
Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
Wednesday 20th, December
International Centre, Harrogate
Thursday 21st, December
First Direct Arena, Leeds
Friday 22nd, December
For full details of the 2018 Tour Schedule please go to: https://www.joolsholland.com/tourdates.htm