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Later... with Jools Holland review 01/05/15

Updated on May 4, 2015

I'm at that age now where Friday nights consist of takeaway and tele rather than jaegarbombs and clubbing and Later... With Jools Holland is essential viewing. The thrill of being allowed to stay up late and watch some great bands playing decent music still thrills me in my late twenties as it did in my early teens.

I've decided to write a review on each show, or more specifically on the bands that appear. Unfortunately this decision was made halfway through the current series and therefore I may back date but hey... music is music whenever you watch it. And we always have iplayer.

First Up... Florence and the Machine

The show openers and one of the best female vocalists about currently. We start of with their latest single from the album 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' - set to be released on 1st June. 'Ship to Wreck' is a terrific song that you can't help bob your head to or tap your foot to and shows off Welch's vocal range brilliantly. The glockenspiel is the stand out instrument that delivers a beat that will definitely get stuck in your head!

The second song she performed was 'St Jude,' a delicate song for a delicate subject. St Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and Florence Welch delivers a hauntingly powerful portrayal of the struggle and failure to fix a broken relationship. The music is soft and rhythmic with a harp and trumpet being the predominant instruments but it's the lyrics that gives the song it's strength.

Her third performance followed a brief interview where the juxtaposition of a powerful singing voice and a soft speaking voice are self-confessionally apparent.

'How Big, How Bold, How Beautiful' was her third and final track performed and for me a little disappointing for me to be honest. I am a big Flo fan but this track didn't really get me going. Beautifully crafted as usual I personally prefer her more powerful songs.

Overall her performance was great. She has a flawless voice and great song writing craft. It's great to have her back

7.5/10

Mini Mansions

First time I have heard this band and the first song had me pretty excited. Simplistic in it's approach, this trio produces electro-pop that is dark and moody. There is a deep heartbeat that runs through their first song 'Freakout,' which carries a melancholic tone and rarely deviates from it's path.

The second track they played 'Death is a girl' was a bit weird. I found this one a bit difficult to listen to and didn't really enjoy it. This futuristic, electronically led pop song with numerous loops just seemed a bit messy and I just found the second vocalist's repeating of certain lyrics a bit annoying. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean!

Bit hit and miss for me. Liked the first track. Disliked the second. Won't be rushing to download the album.

5/10

Andreya Triana

Introduced as Jools' 'favourite new artist and his favourite new record' Andreya Triana just about lived up to expectations. Her deep husky voice is reminiscent of many female artists that have graced the soul scene. 'Gold' from the album 'Giants' is an enjoyable, funky pop song that you can easily add to any playlist. Hopefully the rest of the album is similar.

Her second song she performs 'The Changing Shapes of Love' again has a similar sound to it. Almost as if you have heard it before from Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Rebecca Ferguson et al. Still you can't complain. It works. It's enjoyable. You can put it on in the background on date night.

Great voice, even if we have heard it all before. Good album to have though if you're 'entertaining.'

6/10

The Charlatans

Not really my cup of tea but enjoyable enough. 'Let the good times be never ending' is a nice enough tune but I don't particularly like the lead singers vocals. They come from a particular era and age of music that I don't really relate to and have never really listened so I can take it or leave it. Still I can understand why people like their music and hope this album proves successful as it is their first record since losing their drummer to brain cancer last year.

Their second 'Come Home Baby' is an uplifting britpop song that is easy listening. "It's such a joy to see the smile on your face" is the opening line and is true for many people in love. The problem for me is that I don't like his voice. It's a nice song though.

Never really been a fan and this performance hasn't changed my mind.

4/10

James Taylor

Legendary blues singer James Taylor will be releasing an album of original music for the first time since 2002 in June with 'Before This World.'

The first song he performs, 'Montana' is a melodic and wistful tune that recalls a simpler time. Bit boring for my tastes but you have to appreciate how good his voice is. His harmonies have delighted fans for decades and this new album is hotly anticipated.

The second is very similar; 'The Lovely Stretch of The Highway' a bluesy tune about life on the open road. Wouldn't be amiss as the backing track for a montage from a road trip movie as a boy from the south travels the route 66 in a cadillac or something similar. Enjoyable enough but again not something that really floats my boat.

Great voice that's lasted a lifetime. Not one I usually listen to and although I enjoyed the second track he performed, I won't start listening on the back of this performance.

5/10

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

And this is why I love this show. Every now and again they showcase the talents of a band that I immediately fall in love with and that's the case with Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. This mother-son collaboration is quite simply brilliant. They played the soulful, folk tune 'Silent Movies' from their forthcoming album Skeleton Crew and I beg everyone to go out and buy it - you will not be disappointed!

Only had the chance to perform one song but they were the star of the show. Jools has unleashed a hidden gem and I love it!

9/10

Which was your favourite performance?

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