Jools Holland opened this year’s Hampton Court music festival with aplomb. Kicking off with Hamp’s Boogie Woofing he got the party going with his infectious boogie woogie piano, backed by his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra of 17 musicians and backing vocalists, with an eleven-strong brass section.
Jump For Joy continued the boogie theme and a ska number preceded Jools’ daughter Mabel Ray taking the lead on Another Valentine. Holland met Loussier with his rendition of Bach Prelude #1.
A Jools Holland show always provides quality guest vocalists, and this was no exception. Louise Marshall stepped out of the backing vocal shadows to deliver stunning vocals on Sweet County Love Song and Let It Roll.
The next guests were Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson and Pauline Black from 2 tone ska outfit The Selector, who raised the tempo with four tracks including Too Much Pressure and On My Radio. The crowd lapped this up, just as they had done twelve months earlier when Jools had brought on Marc Almond for a bit of Tainted Love at the Palace.
Back to the boogie with the Fats Domino number You Done Me Wrong, featuring the brass section and a blistering solo by saxophone legend Derek Nash, who together with his pineapple shaker is a mainstay of this excellent band.
Longtime Holland collaborator Ruby Turner brought the show to a fitting climax with several numbers of powerful gospel-infused soul with Morning Noon And Night, The Informer and Get Away Jordan.
Good Time Jools struck gold again. He’s always on the money and his band exuberantly delivered the encore songs of Shake That Thing, the ska of Enjoy Yourself and closing with Alright, OK You win. It was party time as ever with this consummate professional and his musicians.