Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra deliver intimate Pavilion gig

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra <i>(Image:</i>
Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra (Image:

A PACKED Pavilion theatre welcomed Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra on their Bournemouth showing of tour.

He and his Boogie Woogie playing orchestra normally play at the BIC so here was a great chance for a more intimate experience.

The evening opened with a short 25-minute set from Mark Flanagan. It would be a busy night for him as he is also the guitarist for the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. He played a handful of folksy bluesy numbers and told a couple of stories which got the crowd right in the mood for the main event.

Jools and his band took to the stage to resounding cheers from the Pavilion audience and went straight into Morris Dance.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

Each number they played featured at least one of the 19-piece orchestra who would come to the front of the stage to showcase their talents.

A couple more numbers and then it was time for some proper Count Basie Boogie Woogie. A large video screen across the back of the stage showed Jools’ fingers racing up and down the keyboard – spellbinding.

Always joined by guest singers, tonight was no exception, the two backing singers (Sumudu and Louise Marshall) both had their own spot. Between these two songstresses’ offerings, the band left the stage while Jools introduced us to his piano and reminisced about his formative years, learning the piano and forming Squeeze while tickling the ivories and playing a couple of tunes including Bach’s Air On The G String.

Joining Jools for nine dates on this tour was Lulu and just like the other vocalist Jools gave a very elaborate and exuberant introduction.

Lulu, dressed in a large purple top, black jeans, hat and sunglasses, owned the stage as she swaggered and strutted her way through exquisite performances of Hit the Road Jack, Unchain My Heart and everyone’s favourite Shout.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

What a performance - Jools, like everyone else, couldn’t take his eyes off her. By now the audience had given the “Please only dance at the back and sides of the theatre” signs a stiff ignoring and were all on their feet dancing.

The final guest, Ruby Turner, who is more of a mainstay with the band than a special guest, threw her heart and soul into her performance, especially Stay With Me (Baby) with her gospel voice raising the roof and my heart rate. An astonishing performance which seems to drain her emotionally and physically.

The set finished and before we had chance to draw breath Jools and the gang were back on stage for the encore leading the us through a rendition of All You Need Is Love, before The Specials Enjoy Yourself.

Just a bunch of extremely talented musicians having a blast on stage and infecting the audience with their fun filled enthusiasm. A joyous night out – not to be missed.