Jools Holland at The Brighton Centre
20 December 2000
Well another Jools gig has been and gone, and what a night it was!
I got to The Brighton Centre at around 6.15pm the doors were due to open at 7pm, so once again (as every year) I had arrived early, I tend to have a habit of arriving early, it's just I'm too eager not to miss anything you see!
I waited around outside with a few other people, then at 6.30 the doors were opened and we were allowed in, so I went straight up and waited by the bar... quite pointless seeing as I'm only 16!! But as every year I was on my own, you see there are no other teenagers I know with such great musical taste! haha... I sat on my own waiting for the doors to the arena to open, I got quite a few strange looks from people walking past; being on my own plus I was the only one there wearing a Jools Holland t-shirt (shame on you all.haha).
After about half an hour we were let in, I went straight to my seat (front row as usual) and just sat there looking in awe at Jools' piano and the rest of the set up.
After half an hour of anticipation everything started up, the house lights went down and the stage lights shone, then a voice came over the speakers, "Please welcome to the stage Cosmic Harmony Companion!"
A loud detonation of applause started and on walked Chris and co I must say that, that band is spectacular, truly remarkable! Good luck to them for the future! I really enjoyed their set.
Then of course after 'C.H.C' had finished there was to be another short wait before the man himself came on stage, what was actually about a fifteen minute to a half an hour wait, seemed like a lifetime, I had waited since November 12th last year to see Jools live again, so every minute that went past seemed an age, then finally once again the house lights went down and over the speakers all you could hear was someone whistling 'I love London town' then after a short introduction on came Jools looking if I may say so very sexy, obviously, what else!? Followed by a few orchestra members, Dave, Mark and Gilson, I think that was all for the beginning.
After a song or two the rest of the orchestra started to filter on stage, it was really great to see so many old faces and also so many new ones! Everyone was on top form, magnificent! Each orchestra member was introduced one by one after an outstanding virtuoso solo performance!
I was very surprised that after four songs no one was up on their feet and having a boogie down front as per usual, I find it incredibly difficult to stay sitting when the music I love and live for is playing, especially when my idol's playing it right in front of me, so I started to edge forward on my seat, leaning forward to see if anyone else was about to get up, but there was no one, everyone was just grooving in their seats, then I saw one woman get up it was such a relief, trust me, so I got up and was the second person having a boogie, no one was going anywhere near the stage so I went straight next to the stage and right by Jools (well I had to didn't I!? every year I get as close to Jools as possible) I got a smile off of Jools too (Jools you'll never know how much one small smile can mean to me, thank you so much!) after the song had finished I turned round and saw that everyone else had followed my lead and had got up.
I have to say that Sam Brown was fab! as always! She's just astonishing, what a voice!
I was very surprised to see Jools get out his harmonica and start playing that, I'd only heard that he could play this was the first time I'd actually seen him play it, very impressed! especially when he decided to play both harmonica and piano at the same time! Wow!
About half way through the set Marianne Faithful came on stage, she was wonderful, although she wasn't on for long, she only performed two songs and then left, but as I say was wonderful!
Then Jools started the opening bars to 'I'm In A Dancing Mood' and whenever that song's played you know you're in for a treat, Jools always involves the audience in this song, and yes I was right at the end he divided us up and gave us all parts to sing, most amusing was the top left hand balcony having to shout "YES", at one point Jools didn't think they were shouting loud enough so turned round on his piano stool and shouted "YES" along with them, Sam Brown wasn't expecting Jools to do this at all, so this reduced her to uncontrollable laughter whilst trying to sing, bless her! haha.
On top of all this Gilson did his famous drum solo, what can I say but we are not worthy big man! wow!
Another thing, I am also a very big Ska fan so it was really refreshing to hear Jools add some Ska to his music.
The encores were top! 'Well Alright' was the first encore (I think) and it was funky! thoroughly marvellous, the next encore was to be the last, Sam Brown singing an awe-inspiring version of 'Feel Like Going Home' (not sure if that's what the song's called but you know which one I mean).
It was heart-rending to see Jools leave the stage; it's the same every year.
All in all the night was totally fantastic, a mixture of new and old tracks, very refreshing, unfortunately it will be another year till I see you live again Jools, but it's always well worth the wait, and maybe next year I'll get the chance to actually meet you and say hello back stage, tried this year but it was too crowded back stage so was told that I could go in next year, so fingers crossed I may meet you, my idol yet...
Love to all and a very big Thank You to Jools and the Orchestra!