Music On The Box//Later...with Jools Holland Series 42, Episode 1

The Meaning of life is apparently 42 and by sheer coincidence the new series of the life affirming and often memory making Later... with Jools Holland came back to our screens with the sunshine for it's 42nd series. 

New Titles. New Studio. New Series. Perhaps it's the time gap making it seem so, but this opening episode of later seemed so much more refreshing than the last time we saw it. First band to play the new studio on screen went to the newly reformed and album toting Suede, still as punchy as ever, even during the openly bush-beating interviews Later specialises in and often brilliantly characterises the show. 

The one thing we missed from the last series was the once traditional walk in from outside Television Centre now a lot longer thanks to the relocation to Kent. The funny thing is though that even a walk of that length broadcast live might even be entertaining with Holland as your companion. 

As it was, there was much to entertain on the show as the new studio made the customary tracking shots evn more fascinating than usual. Most impressive of the artists was Laura Mvula's gospel chill out lounge style songs incorporating the ice cool of a evening in your favorite lounge bar with the tribal warmth of modern electro jazz. 

Also notable were Strypes, out doing The Strokes at their own game with their stripped down yet infectious brand of N.Y.C rock that seriously impressed. Considering the latter are currently mixing it up with an eclectro influenced sound it's a relief to have some genuinely youthful alt-rock on offer. There was also a soul inspired yet seemingly painful (judging by the facial expressions he made anyway) performance from the excellent Charles Bradley and a striped down yet edgy performance from Cat Power backed with just the legendary Later... piano and a rather cooly styled pianist who's jacket I've decided I want.  

All in all then an excellent beginning to Later, let's pray for an even run of musical fun! It may be mocked as being predictable by many out there but how many of them are on their 42nd series? Welcome back Jools!

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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