Jools lights up the Regent

IPSWICH'S Regent on Sunday was crammed full of music-lovers, in from the early darkness and the wet, keen to see Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra light up the evening with a number of popular boogie-woogie hits.

JOOLS HOLLAND AND HIS RHYTHM AND BLUES ORCHESTRA

IPSWICH REGENT - 28 OCTOBER 2007

IPSWICH'S Regent on Sunday was crammed full of music-lovers, in from the early darkness and the wet, keen to see Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra light up the evening with a number of popular boogie-woogie hits.

What seems incredible is that this was just one of 31 dates in an autumn tour that concludes just before Christmas. Busy indeed.

Younger brother Christopher Holland, who also plays in the band, first warmed the audience on his keyboard by throwing in a Ray Charles hit and some psychedelic songs from his latest album.

The thrill of the evening, however, was seeing the full band take their positions, all twenty of them: trumpets and saxophones and trombones and pianos, tightly arranged on the stage, twitching with anticipation.

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To see a band of this size perform with a showman like Jools Holland at the helm is a spectacle to behold. All that brass sends a tingle down the spine. It is in the nature of big band music and boogie-woogie to want to do more than just tap your feet and nod your head. You're expected to dance.

Although Lulu's eventual appearance will have pleased the crowd somewhat, the performances of the night belonged to the singers Ruby Turner, with her infectious energy that got the audience to their feet, and Louise Marshall, whose version of Chrissie Hynde's “Out of this World” was beautiful.

And there's no forgetting Rico Rodriguez, the seventy-something reggae and ska trombonist, who provided some alternative vocals to some great songs.

There can't be many entertainers who work harder than Jools Holland.

With his autobiography out, his new album entering the charts at number nine, and his television show returning this Friday, it's a wonder he has time to pull a night like this together.

Perhaps it's a sign that he enjoys his work. The audience at the Regent certainly did.

STEPHEN DURRANT

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