Boogie night opens event in real style
FIVE saxophones, four trombones, three trumpets, two keyboards, a bass, a guitar and a drum-kit, add three guest vocalists, former Squeeze bandmate Chris Difford and you have the extravaganza provided by Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, writes Mark Salter.
This impressive ensemble headlined the opening night of the Southwell Folk Festival in a near capacity 2,000-seater big-top.
The show started with big band sounds featuring several brass solos and singer Rosie May leading on The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. She was soon followed by second vocalist, the soulful Louse Marshall, whose spot included the sultry Valentine Moon.
Holland, an often under-rated singer, showed great vocal versatility, leading on many of the numbers. However, it was his excellence on keyboards that shone.
He was astounding on, Bumble Boogie, a boogie woogie version of Rimsky Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee which drew rapturous applause.
Similar ovations were enjoyed when ska originator, trombonist Rico Rodriguez, sang L-O-V-E and when Holland was joined by Difford. They performed two Squeeze classics, a ska version of Take Me I'm Yours, and Cool for Cats.
Holland then urged the crowd to "summon up the boogie" for Queen of the Boogie, Ruby Turner. She delivered a power packed rhythm and blues set to round off the gig.
Two encores ensured the audience more than received value for money.