Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra performing at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Wednesday 30th November 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

You know that it is nearly Christmas when boogie woogie king, Jools Holland comes to town with his Rhythm And Blues Orchestra and guests. And last night he invited a packed Royal Concert Hall to party with him and that is exactly what they did.

Bringing the niche world of rhythm and blues to the masses, Holland performed jaw dropping piano solos with seemingly effortless precision. Songs such as The Midnight Special and As You See Me Now kept the audience on their feet, whilst new songs from his latest album, Piano, went down a storm. Songs like Grand Hotel and Dorothy were given the Holland treatment but it was Bumble Boogie that was a highlight.

There were too many musicians on stage to count but Holland introduced every one of them to rapturous applause, and stepped back to give each of them an opportunity in the limelight, including his old friend Gilson Lavis. Singers Beth Rowley delivered a delightful I’m In The Mood For Love, and Louise Marshall captivated this audience with Love Me Or Leave Me.

With artists queuing up to appear with Holland, on this tour his special guests were Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson. Songs like Train To Skaville, a reggae tinged Secret Love and On My Radio were all given the full orchestra backing.

When long time friend, Ruby Turner stepped out onto the stage, all heaven broke loose. It isn’t just the volcanic power of her gospel fired voice that is irresistible; it is the richness of the tone that she produces as her voice soars around the hall. With songs like Remember Me and fans favourite, the subliminal Peace In The Valley, the audience hardly had time to draw breathe. Many have already put the date for next year’s visit in their diaries, not wanting to miss out.