Jools Holland at Hampton Court, Surrey Advertiser review ****

You know what you are going to get when you see Jools Holland. He’s backed by one of the best bands in the business and has a smattering of special guests. It’s a winning formula and one that constantly delights audiences up and down the country.

Taking to the stage forty minutes late due to a medical emergency in the audience Holland had his work cut out. He handled the situation with dignity and sincerity, wishing the audience member best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Boogie woogie began the show and the band was on fire with Well Alright. Holland is a wonderful stride pianist and more. A couple more tracks in and he dispensed with the orchestra, leaving only drummer and fellow Squeeze alumni Gilson Lavis on stage with him for the beautiful Dorothy by Dr John and a stride piece where Lavis took a flamboyant solo.

His first guest was the talented Louise Marshall who stepped up from her role as one of the two backing vocalists to take two numbers, including Holland’s Waterloo Bridge.

The already enthusiastic crowd went nuts when Marc Almond came on to sing Say Hello, Wave Goodbye. Almond has aged like fine wine and stayed for five songs. When Tainted Love got the big band treatment it was magical. There hasn’t been this much tainted love at the Palace since Henry VIII.

Long time Holland collaborator Ruby Turner stormed through several uptempo numbers including the classic Let The Good Times Roll and an uplifting gospel-influenced Peace in the Valley.

Turner stayed for the encore, finishing with a boogie ska version of Enjoy Yourself which everybody certainly had. Good time Jools strikes gold again.

Chaz Brooks

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