Jools in the crown

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - MUSIC -

Jools Hol­land may have picked up an OBE at Buck­ing­ham Palace, was made a Deputy Lieu­tenant of Kent in 2006 for ser­vices to mu­sic and has per­formed around the world, but Rochester’s Castle Con­certs are spe­cial as they are a home gig for him.

“Rochester is one of the most beau­ti­ful cities and I think it’s one of the most in­cred­i­ble venues, es­pe­cially when the sun sets be­hind the castle and the cathe­dral,” said the 60-yearold star.

“Play­ing in the en­clo­sure of the castle has a mag­i­cal at­mos­phere.”

No stranger to the con­certs, he was a reg­u­lar for many years, but this year is a re­turn af­ter a six year break.

Since his first record­ing ses­sion in 1976, Jools has sold mil­lions of records and per­formed to thou­sands around the world, from local pubs to Madi­son Square Gar­dens. A ca­reer high­light was last year’s per­for­mance on the Pyra­mid Stage at Glas­ton­bury with his Rhythm & Blues Or­ches­tra.

“Some­thing hap­pens when you are on the stage – you con­nect with the peo­ple. We hope our mu­sic has the same ef­fect on them that it does on us. It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing. Mu­sic is an amaz­ing and pow­er­ful thing - it’s like a puz­zle that you can never fig­ure out, an enigma that you are in­fat­u­ated with. Mu­sic makes peo­ple dance and feel amorous and melan­cholic.” He plays the con­certs on Wed­nes­day, July 11, with his Rhythm & Blues Or­ches­tra.

“Our mu­sic in­cludes pop, blues, gospel, ska and boo­gie-woo­gie mu­sic,” added Jools. “It’s a very pow­er­ful, big sound; it’s very dy­namic and made by lots of peo­ple. Some peo­ple just fit in with the big band, and Ruby Turner and Louise Mar­shall are part of it.” De­scrib­ing singer Ruby as ‘unique’ he added: “There is no ques­tion that she’s the great­est ex­po­nent of blues and gospel. She seems to go right back to the root of it and has that thing that makes you want to dance and jump up and down.”

Also per­form­ing on the night is Marc Al­mond. Jools said, “Marc is an in­te­gral part of the show. His voice works in a unique and ex­tra­or­di­nary way with the Rhythm & Blues Or­ches­tra; some­thing gels when it comes to work­ing with Marc, who is also an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed and suc­cess­ful artist, as well as an in­flu­ence to a gen­er­a­tion of mu­si­cians. Marc is a dear friend and we are work­ing on an al­bum to­gether.” He also re­vealed that when it comes to writ­ing new mu­sic, he has even drawn in­spi­ra­tion from Ken­tish bird­song.

“Ideas come to me all the time. Last year we went to Hoo penin­sula marshes and recorded the pi­ano an­swer­ing the bird song. It was fas­ci­nat­ing.” Jools has played with mu­si­cians around the world, but who would he per­form with if he could pick any­one? “I think you could put a fan­tas­tic super group to­gether. Bach on the strings, Bessie Smith sing­ing and John Len­non on the gui­tar… and Charles Dick­ens could write the words!”

His TV show, Later… with Jools Hol­land, which is filmed at Maid­stone Stu­dios, has just come to the end of its 52nd se­ries.

He said: “The thing that I am most proud about my TV show is that there isn’t an­other like it. It’s a great ad­ver­tise­ment for the area and Britain and its mu­si­cal val­ues, as no one makes a show like it any­where else in the world.”

An evening with Jools Hol­land his Rhythm & Blues Or­ches­tra, Marc Al­mond and Ruby Turner at Rochester Castle takes place on Wed­nes­day, July 11. Tick­ets are still avail­able

‘Play­ing in the en­clo­sure of Rochester Castle has a mag­i­cal at­mos­phere’

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