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Home arrow Reviews arrow DVDs, Blurays, and Videos arrow Later... with Jools Holland - Hootenanny (with David Gilmour)
Later... with Jools Holland - Hootenanny (with David Gilmour) Print E-mail

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDReleased by Warner Music Vision, 1 December 2003

Available to buy through these special links: UK/elsewhere, in Germany, and in France (where it is known as "Later... Party"). This DVD has region codes 2-6, meaning it is playable in most countries (our region 1 readers will need a "multi-region" player).

Over the years, accomplished pianist (an ex-member of the band Squeeze) and presenter Jools Holland has made the normally boring or cringe-inducing New Year's Eve television, in the UK at least, all his own, obliterating all opposition with stellar line-ups of musicians in party mood. The calibre of artists he is able to attract to play on his show never fails to impress, and the New Year shows boast many more in the audience, content just to listen to their peers and guzzle champagne. These special shows tend to have the musicians in a more relaxed mood, covering songs and using Jools' house band for backing.

Released in time for Christmas and New Year 2003/4, "Later... with Jools Holland - Hootenanny" is a collection of highlights from the end of the year shows. And what highlights!

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDHoused in a gold-coloured Amaray case so befitting the five star collection this is, the DVD has over two hours of music, which is well presented if only in Dolby Digital stereo. A surround mix would have been great - such a party atmosphere in the studio would have translated well into the home, but I guess the earlier material on offer in places, would have only been recorded in two channels...

Picture quality (anamorphic widescreen) is on the whole flawless, with the odd exception due to the age of specific recordings. This could partly be because up until recently, the BBC did not routinely shoot in widescreen, choosing instead 4:3 (which is the traditional TV screen shape).

From looking at some of the old footage, grain or indistinct detail would imply that the picture was reframed or cropped to size. However, it is only one or two performances that this can be seen, and on most equipment, it would not be apparent (so higher end set-ups may notice most)... Sadly, no DVD extras, apart from the ability to programme in your six favourite tracks, into a desired sequence. However, six is not many, and the selections are so well sequenced anyway to make this fairly redundant. Oh and you have an option of subtitles, ideal for singing along!

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDThe party starts in grand style, with the dapper Solomon Burke, resplendent on his throne, and "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love". A nice but unspectacular "You Really Got Me" by Ray Davies (of The Kinks), is followed by Robert Plant in boogie-woogie mood, despite a bit of a Led Zep build up from Jools.

Jimmy Cliff gives "You Can Get It If You Really Want" his all, even if some of the notes prove to be a bit elusive, and Huey from the Fun Loving Criminals shows his surprising vocal talents and range on "Fly Me To The Moon".

Edwin Starr's still topical "War" brings a serious (seriously funky) flavour to proceedings, and ex-Pink Floyd and David Gilmour backing singers Sam Brown and Lorelei McBroom help send out his message, whilst Roisin Murphy (Moloko's singer, with their "The Time Is Now") almost reveals too much courtesy of her party frock!

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDDr John brings a bluesy feel to the show with "Such A Night", along with a curiously weak picture, lacking clarity but making up for it with Eric Clapton on guitar, and, strangely, some rather bored audience members in the background! Despite this, a good performance from both of these legends. More from Eric in his own right later though...

The soaring vocal of Beverly Knight follows ("A Change Is Gonna Come") in a passionate and soulful reading. The late Kirsty MacColl is next up, with a full Scottish pipe band, another poor, washed out picture, and what sounds suspiciously like pre-recorded applause and cheering at the end of the song.

Kelly Jones, the gravel-voiced singer from The Stereophonics, covers "Handbags and Gladrags" very well, a song most commonly associated with vocally-similar Rod Stewart, but now just as closely associated with British comedy show The Office. He keeps his eyes closed throughout the whole performance... not once opening them.

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDBe Bop A Lula follows, sung by aging stud Tom Jones with Jeff Beck, who resists all his normal desires to let rip on the guitar, taking it all so seriously. Eric Clapton returns, and plays a very similar guitar to Beck, but adds plenty of "twiddly bits", showing Jeff just what he could have done!

Sam Brown returns with Ronnie Wood (looking even more serious than Jeff Beck) who gives an uninvolving performance of "Ooh La La", followed by fairly dodgy London pub-rock trio Chas & Dave, and a bunch of Pearly Kings and Queens. However, their brand of R&B works well in a party selection such as this.

An atypical Paul Wellar performance is followed by Texas's Sharleen Spiteri, with the Motown classic "Surrender" covered extremely well. And a rarity - she looks like she is having a great time! For a celebration of great music and the hopes that accompany the coming of a new year, there are far too many serious faces!

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDChrissie Hynde goes for the sultry feel, and is that Sam Brown again? Yes, and on the following song too, which features Jools Holland finally taking centre stage. Clearly a DVD suitable for Sam's fans, too - she appears later on, too! Gabrielle's "Give Me A Little More Time" is next, which seems to be a bit of a struggle vocally. Not so for David McAlmont, who, against expectations, delivers "Misty Blue" perfectly.

Next up, from the 1998 show, is BB King's take on "Eyesight To The Blind", which features, trying to hide himself in the background, David Gilmour on guitar. For the first couple of minutes of the song, David's guitar doesn't even seem to be plugged in - he's nowhere in the sound mix! BB King covers for him with a great solo, until the person on the mixing desk finds the appropriate knobs, and David's guitar rings out well. He looks in fine fettle and glad to be involved in the number, and this is reflected in the quality of the short, but sweet, solo he provides.

With the lighting used, and David dressed in his normal stage gear - black tshirt and black trousers - the impression he gives is that he doesn't really want to be noticed. Hopefully one year he will step out of the shadows and do his own "turn" on a New Year show.

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDNext up, the Velvet Underground's John Cale takes the stage, in a big band number that works really well, before Tom Jones returns, this time with Cerys Matthews (Catatonia) for a seasonal "Baby It's Cold Outside". A good performance, despite Cerys looking pretty flirty, and Tom looking decidedly wary! I'm not sure if this was the impression they were intending, but it certainly was quite amusing!

The legends and the classics keep on coming - Gary Brooker delivers a great "Whiter Shade Of Pale", despite probably being totally sick of performing the song, then Steve Winwood, backed by a full band including Jools and percussionist Jodi Linscott (worked with Gilmour in the past), contributes "I'm A Man". Some dodgy brass parts are made up for by a nice Hammond solo courtesy of Winwood.

Simply Red's Mick Hucknall then gives a jazzy/big band feel to T Bone Shuffle, whilst a couple of The Housemartins offer a subdued Rotterdam.

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDThe immensely talented Solomon Burke is back, with Sam and Lorelei backing again, on "Cry To Me", before the stage becomes Sam's alone for her reading of "Drown In My Own Tears", showcasing her not inconsiderable vocal range and qualities. The camera does seem to get a little too close to her face, particularly noticeable if watched on a large screen television! Still, one of the many highlights to be found within.

In contrast, Marc Almond performs his "Say Hello Wave Goodbye", easily the weakest selection on the whole disc, with a poor arrangement and lacklustre delivery from some of the musicians and even Almond at times.

Bryan Ferry's slightly strangled vibrato vocal on "Let's Stick Together" is softened with backing from... yep, you guessed it, Sam and co.! Ruby Turner then gives a hoochy-coochy take on "That's All", ably backed by Jools.

Jools Holland Hootenanny DVDJeff Beck returns to wrap everything up, and tries to make his most famous, and his own least favourite song, "Hi Ho Silver Lining", more bearable by having Chrissie Hynde, Solomon Burke, Robert Plant, Tom Jones, Jimmy Cliff (and others by the end of the song) doing the vocals (and having a whale of a time!).

Much to Beck's disgust (he clearly hates the thing!), this song has become the ultimate drunken party singalong, and proves a very apt end to a great DVD!

If you cannot resist this essential title - and who could blame you? - it can be ordered through these special links: UK/elsewhere, in Germany, and in France (where it is known as "Later... Party"). Buying any item after accessing Amazon through these links helps this site - we appreciate it!

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