We tip our caps to Jools Holland regularly around here, for his musicianship whenever we blow the dust off our Squeeze records, but more frequently when he hosts musicians we love on that BBC show of his. A show which turned 200 episodes old Friday night with a very special lineup of musical well wishers. The Times Online captures the scene:
The cake has been sitting all day in the middle of Studio 1 at BBC Television Centre. But only ten minutes before the 200th episode of Later with Jools Holland is due to be recorded does someone realise that lighting 200 candles – and keeping them lit while the studio audience sings Happy Birthday – is easier said than done. The urbane ringmaster of terrestrial music television doesn’t fancy his chances of blowing them out either, at least not without singeing his trademark dapper suit.
Fire extinguishers are mentioned before someone authorised to pronounce on these things decides that “it would be too dangerous”. Top rock combo Radiohead confer in a manner that suggests they didn’t get to where they are today without learning a thing or two about health and safety. Soul diva Mary J. Blige, obviously nonplussed by the drama, walks over to Holland – with whom she appears to be very friendly – and engages him in intense conversation. Meanwhile, in the far corner, two poster girls of alternative America – Cat Power and Leslie Feist – guffaw long and hard at something on Feist’s phone.
After chuckling over Nanos and blowing out candles, the name dropped party stars took turns on the stage performing mini-sets. A few highlights after the jump.
Robyn Hitchcock – “Sounds Great When You’re Dead”
Feist – “Sealion”
Cat Power – “Lost Someone”
Mary J. Blige – “Work That”
Take that Mary J. cut to 2:20 and watch Thom getting his groove on. And after that, watch this “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” that is so beautiful you might just get a little misty.