Ruby Turner lifts Jools Holland’s crowd

Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Warwick Arts Centre, May 11.

I CAME away from this sell-out show with mixed feelings. Jools Holland’s piano playing was performed with typical aplomb, and his orchestra was sensational, particularly former Squeeze drummer Gilson Lavis who did a breathtaking drum solo.

However, there was a slight going through the motions feel about the whole thing at times, and for a rhythm and blues orchestra there wasn’t much blues to be heard. This was particularly apparent when 60s songstress Sandie Shaw took to the stage to sing show tunes which felt very out of keeping with the whole gig, and her voice was not far short of poor not just in strength but also several very flat notes to be heard.

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Other guest stars included Louise Marshall who’s voice was terrific and is certainly one to watch in the future.

But the show really came to life when brummie singing legend Ruby Turner took the microphone and blasted out a series of tunes that gave the audience the excuse it needed to get onto it’s feet and sing along.

The whole show definitely ended on a real high, but the journey there was a little too laboured for a crowd that was desperately waiting for the injection of life that Ruby Turner provided.

Jamie Smith

Verdict: Got there in the end.

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