Jools boogy-woogies in the Park

PINT-SIZED boogie-merchant Jools Holland lit up Christchurch Park as Ipswich grooved its way into the weekend.Holland, an annual visitor to The Regent, had recently played in Thetford Forest and was making the second of three summer outdoor appearances.

By Nick Richards

PINT-SIZED boogie-merchant Jools Holland lit up Christchurch Park as Ipswich grooved its way into the weekend.

Holland, an annual visitor to The Regent, had recently played in Thetford Forest and was making the second of three summer outdoor appearances.

Next week he's at Brands Hatch with Eric Clapton, and before the gig there were plenty of rumours circulating that 'Slowhand' himself would join Jools on stage.


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Alas, it wasn't to be, but Jools, backed by his 14-piece Rythmn and Blues Orchestra certainly wowed the crowd last night.

The crowd, numbering well over 1,000 merely tapped their feet for the first few numbers fuelled by champagne and white wine.

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But, by the time the enigmatic former Squeeze man had finished his 90 minute set, a healthy throng of revellers had developed at the front of the stage.

Holland, seated for much of the set, gradually got the crowd moving with a blistering selection of tracks from recent albums Hop The Wag and Small World, Big Band.

Almost every musical instrument was on display – apart from the triangle or recorder - and fans were treated to some sublime sax solos.

Fans sat barefoot, children rolled around in the grass while parents tucked into their home made hampers – this was a true family show.

And Jools kept it in the family too with brother Christopher joining him on stage as well as drumming supreme Gilson Lavis.

Before Lavis had unleashed a marvelous marathon drum solo, the undoubted highlight of the evening was unleashed.

Sam Brown, daughter of Joe, belted out a sublime version of waltz-heavy album track Valentine Moon.

With a healthy crowd camped out on one of the park's many hills, both Jools and his crowd certainly seemed to enjoy his show in the great outdoors

It wasn't quite Woodstock, but it sure was Jools-stock.

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