Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, White Rabbits, Jeff Beck

Alicia Keys kicked off the show with Empire State of Mind Part 2, a familiar radio tune from her 2009 album The Element of Freedom. She sung well, part of the time standing at the mike and part sitting at the piano. She looked good too in a little black, shiny, dress.

Yeasayer followed with a song called Ambling Alp. It featured a lot of keyboards and percussion, and the presentation reminded me of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. It was very like an 80′s pop tune, I didn’t like it myself.

Macy Gray began with Lately from her Sellout album. This song had a nice bass line with her familiar croaky vocals. It’s a nice mid-tempo soul, dance tune and has a good vocal break at the end.

Jeff Beck was interviewed by Jools. He revealed that he made a guitar for himself at 7 and he tried violin, cello and piano before he took up guitar. Jools asked about his recent gigs with Eric Clapton and Jeff said he walked in on part of one of Clapton‘s interviews where he said he hated him. I’m sure that would have been just a joke, or an envy statement. I recently saw some film of Beck playing at one of Clapton‘s Crossroadsshows in Chicago and he was awesome.

White Rabbits were next with a song called Percussion Gun a good tune featuring drums and bass. I liked it.

Jeff Beck played the standard Over the Rainbow backed with some strings and did lots of tremolo and volume fiddling. It was OK, but not really what I was hoping for. He does look in incredibly good nick for 66.

Macy Gray sang Kissed It also from her new album. This was a little more up tempo and another good fun tune. The girls of the Creole Choir of Cuba could be seen clapping along in the background and one of the Yeasayers drumming along, very good tune.

Alicia Keys was back with Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart. It had a synthesizer start. It wasn’t a bad soul song, but a bit over the top. She is prone to over dramatise.

Jools interviewed Macy Gray. She explained the title of her album Sellout was due to the fact she started out to make a commercial album, but ended up doing her own thing. Jools then asked what she would feed him if he showed up for dinner. I don’t know why, maybe he was hungry.

Next up was Desandann Creole Choir of Cuba with Chen Nan Ren. This was a very much more African sound than I expected and their dress was too. They featured a male lead, all the others were women and they all threw everyting into the performance, both vocally and in their dancing. It was very good, if you want to read more about them checkout a very good article on Repeating Islands. or World Music Central.

White Rabbits followed with They Done Wrong / We Done Wrong. This was  another percussive track with a good vocal, but not as good as their first song.

Alicia Keys was interviewed by Jools Holland and discussed her very diverse musical influences and he asked the dinner question again. He should have ate before the show.

Macy Gray‘s last song was  Beauty in the World. It was another good swing along tune.  I think the Sellout album will be well worth checking out.

Alicia Keys finished the show with the hit No One another familiar radio tune. She started singing solo at the piano and built the song. She was slightly in danger of building it too far.

All in all a pretty good show. Next Friday Vampire Weekend, Crystal Castles, MGMT, Metric, Tom Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Andy Serkis, Bob Harris. I’ll be watching, specifically for Corinne Bailey Rae and Tom Jones.

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