Paul Rodgers, Paul Weller, Marina & The Diamonds

Later with Jools Holland returned to ABC2 on Friday 22nd October. It was a good show with some interesting music, but not one of the very best. The show kicked off with Paul Weller. He did three new songs which were all good, although I thought that in some parts they could have done with a better singer than him. His second song Aim High had a big orchestrated sound, with strings etc. and reminded me in parts of the Theme from Shaftby Issac Hayes. His last song Find the Torch Burn the Plans also had a very familiar feel to it, but I can’t identify what it reminds me of . Paul and one of his keyboard players were sporting some interesting 60’s/70’s influenced haircuts, that looked like they were cut with a knife and fork.

Next up were Hot Chip, who also played three songs. Which was a pity, as they didn’t really appeal to me. The guy that did most of the singing reminded me of Jimmy Sommerville from Bronski Beat and The Communards, but without any of the disco fun.

Gogol Bordello followed. Now this was a really fun band to watch. Their performance was kind of ramshackle and hectic and some of the singing left a little to be desired, but I really enjoyed them. They called it rock and roll and apparently have members from various countries, but it sounded like Russian Gypsy music to me. They went full pelt at both of their songs. I would imagine a whole gig would probably kill you, or them.

Marina of Marina and the Diamonds, reminded me a little of Kate Bush. It just seemed to be one of those shows where everything reminded me of something else. She had very good vocal control and the songs were interesting. I think I might need to have a few more listens to really appreciate her.

I was looking forward to Paul Rogers most of all. He is one of my old heroes and I loved Free and saw Bad Company live at least twice. But there just was not enough of him. He had a short interview with Jools and performed the Ray Charles song Crying Time with Jools at the piano. It was good but not earth shattering.

The Villagers was a one man band, Connor O’Brien, who performed heartfelt songs on an acoustic guitar, that seemed to be held together with gaffa tape. Once again he made me think of someone else. His vibrato on his first song put me in mind of Fergal Sharkey, although nowhere near as annoying.

The Polar Bears are a band that I would like to see more of. Their drummer had a huge mop of, well mop like, hair. They performed a nice instrumental with a really good groove and nice saxophone breaks.

This clip is not from Later but it is the tune they performed and worth a look.

This Friday on Later, Kate Nash, Band of Horses, Jerry Dammers’ Spatial A.K.A. Orchestra, Plan B, Melody Gardot and Jack Bruce. Should be well worth tuning in for.

By Max Power

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