Jools’s Annual Hootenanny
Now something of a tradition, Jools Holland’s Hootenanny started as and end of year special for his late-night music show ‘Later’. Broadcast over the bringing in of the New Year it features music acts that have made an impression over the previous year and has a lot of celebrity guests as the audience. It has run every year since 1992/1993, with the exception of 2000, when Holland and his Big Band were bringing the New Year in with the Queen at the Millennium Dome.
The illusion is that the show is broadcast live but is actually recorded two weeks before in the middle of December when the acts and guests are more likely to be available. Jools himself has said that anybody that reveals that the show is not live will be “tracked down, along with their families, and slain by archers”, thus revealing that the show is not live and is now looking over his shoulder for would-be Robin Hoods.
Regular guests include Dawn French and Lenny Henry, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, and his old friend Roland Rivron who is called upon to make predictions. This year the audience included Doctor Who, David Tennant, and the Master, John Simm, both of whom were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Music guests this year included Sir Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue, as well as the Kaiser Chiefs; Madness; last year’s new big thing, Kate Nash; this year’s new big thing, Duffy; Soul legend Eddie Floyd; small, Scottish woman with big voice, Lulu; Holland’s Big Band regular, Ruby Turner; curly-haired Freddie-a-like, Mika; and straggly Southern Bluesman, Seasick Steve.
All the music went down well but the surprise package on a real musician’s music show was pop princess, Kylie. Looking a little more curvy than in the recent past, she showed it off in a very tight long dress and did a ‘Pfeiffer’ on Jools’s piano, singing the jazz song ‘Come On Strong’. Holland has vowed never to clean the piano again and allowed her to come for a repeat performance whenever she likes. She also did a big-band version of ‘2Hearts’, a torch-song version of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ and sang with McCartney on his 2007 hit ‘Dance Tonight’. Even Seasick Steve had trouble competing with that.
As always, Hootenanny didn’t disappoint, and the timing ‘issue’ of midnight is almost becoming a running joke. Next year, expect the chimes any time between 11:50 and 12:10, but enjoy it anyway.