Later…with Jools Holland has been around for a quarter-century or more, hundreds of shows and there have been a bunch of spin-off DVD releases, it’s also been a platform for some career revivals, Holland’s own big band has been, erm, instrumental in helping to launch/re-launch some singers to the world stage.
I love the show’s values – its production values for a start. And the fact that it puts half a dozen musical acts in a ring, all equals, all given the chance to shine. On a night that a heavyweight like Paul McCartney or Tony Bennett or Patti Smith is performing there will also be a television debut – maybe we never hear of the act again (hey, maybe we never want to either) but they are given their moment to share the spotlight/stage with musical legends. One of my favourite things about the show is watching some of the musical acts enjoying the other musical acts.
It’s always disappointing when a musician makes the ridiculous claim that they don’t listen to a lot of other music – or when someone names their influences and it is only a bunch of names of bands they think they might sound like, or have been told they sound like. There’s so much out there to take influence from, to be inspired by, educated by; to enjoy.
The melting-pot factor of Later…with Jools Holland appeals – you get to see all colours, shapes, styles and sizes on any given night. And there’s no competition in a sense – I’m sure many of the artists are feeling like they’ve got a garden-shed stuck in their throat and in that sense it is a big stage to prove yourself on but the vibe that is created, that’s given off is of musicians supporting and celebrating one another. I like that. So long as the standard is high – and it usually is.
So, let’s have a bit of fun – let’s pretend to be Jools Holland for the day. Or at least host of a similar show: you get to chat to some musicians, introduce some of your favourite acts, maybe even sit in and perform with them.
For this exercise in escapism you will need to choose no more than five acts and you can even pick the two songs that you would like each act to perform. They need to be alive and still making music – so, potential candidates for an appearance on the show. You can even pick existing performances to highlight should you wish.
I’ll go first. Then it’s your turn.
My Jools Holland-styled show, Later…with Simon Sweetman, would feature for its debut episode:
What would your line-up be for your show: Later…with YOU?