Friday, 21 January 2011

Internship notes: Jools Holland's loves and hates

I first encountered Jools Holland when I was a small child and therefore perceived him as a tall man dressed in black, outside Blackheath Conservertoire of Music, accompanied by a little boy who shared my sisters' drum teacher. Our paths would occasionally cross.

My dad would say: "That's Jools Holland."

This meant nothing to me at the time, but when I got older I became a devotee of Later With Jools Holland, recognising that a great pianist was introducing a wider variety of artists than those I'd seen on other music shows.

His set-up has a relatively intimate feel, which might be why Later has featured some of the most affecting televised performances I've ever seen.

Adele, for example

I'm not usually a fan of ballads, as they aren't very socially responsible. What if Adele's sobbing, lonely, pyjama-clad fans followed her example and loomed at the object of their heartbreak suddenly out of the darkness?

Why are you here
out of the blue, uninvited 
in your pyjamas 
in the night
outside my window 
with gin?

 I couldn't stay away
I couldn't fight it.
I thought you'd see my face
and that you'd be reminded
that for me, it isn't over.

What would happen next? Please try it and tell me. The internet needs to know.

Adele singing on Later is amazing, though, and makes me cry. If it doesn't move you, then your soul is gone, man. So gone, that it will create an anti-soul black hole and soon, you are going to turn inside out under the pressure and become an ethereal hoover, blasting noise out of one end and sucking the whole fabric of meaningful existence into the other.

Divas and crooners would no longer exist. Lovers would have to make do with DJ Otzi, circa 2002. Remember him?

[The Anti-Jools?]

What I'm basically saying is if Adele's voice leaves you cold, it's a serious matter and you need to get an exorcist. ’Nuff said?

My review of me interviewing Jools Holland

The conversation proceeded briskly. The words 'brisk' and 'proceed' and also 'hootenanny' capture Jools I think. His answers were off-kilter (I laughed a lot) and he speaks much, much faster than eighty words a minute, as I realised when I transcribed the interview.

He was effusive and witty discussing his Loves and noticeably uncomfortable when I got to the tail end of his 'Hates', insisting that he didn't hate anything really, so trying to come up with a fifth, unique thing that annoyed him was tricky.

Were there any places he didn't like?

No… in fact he likes most places, most objects, most animals, most kinds of clothing, all kinds of music and most experiences…

'Nose pokers,' he announced triumphantly. 'People who poke their noses into other people's business.'

'Can you be more specific?' I needed something that could be illustrated…

He ummed and ahhed. 'They know who they are.'

Did he mean journalists? I asked, being a total nose-poker at this juncture, so he narrowed it down.

I was most pleased to be recommended some music. I've since checked out the Unthanks Sisters and Imelda May and will leave you with Imelda appearing for the first time on his show:

Also, the finished article:


  1. Jools Holland qualifies as a "National Institution", doesn't he? Like the Post Office, or old men who talk intimately to you in the pub even though you don't know them or like how they smell.

  2. Right on. I would imagine Jools loves the post office (maybe not the old men quite so much) as he'd prefer a world where grannies still make a hot cuppa for you in a real mug in a little caff.

  3. I seem to remember that his son had coloured glasses. He was one trendy nine-year-old. I think it was my first encounter with a child who appeared to have an aura of coolness. I was a bit mystified.