Later with Jools has still got it…

Curtis Harding and band.

Curtis Harding and band.

As ever, last night’s programme provided the nearest thing to seeing some great artists close up and live in a very clean setting. The sound is excellent, really putting across an impression of ‘live’ – wonderful bass sounds from Curtis Harding’s band, Paul Weller and the rest. The camera work is superb, as is the quality of the image and the lighting – the makers of this programme have always maintained the 50Hz frame rate for maximum ‘live-ness’. On a decent telly, you are there.

I’m not keen on Jools Holland’s predilection for flabby soul/big/swing band music, and my other complaint is that the programme could do with a hint more edge now and again – it feels relentlessly and self-consciously inoffensive with its carefully-chosen ‘audience in the round’, like a party political conference. But on the whole, I’m still glad it’s there after 23 years. Long may it continue.

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