Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

Somerleyton Hall

Somerleyton Hall

Hot summer sun, hot summer fun… hot Somerleyton.

King of cool Jools Holland brought his orchestra to Somerleyton Hall on Saturday for the last date of his summer tour and they were intent on having a good time, as was the audience.

The boogie-woogie pianist is a fantastic showman and soon had the audience in party mood, clapping along and dancing as the giant screen on stage showed his fingers whizzing along the keyboard while he and his 18-piece band, all very talented musicians in their own right, belted out highlights and favourites from his wide musical repertoire.

With the audience well and truly warmed up, he was joined on stage by guest singers Louise Marshall and velvety-voiced boogie-woogie queen Ruby Turner, a regular performer with Jools and his orchestra, who were given a rousing reception and plenty of deserved applause.

But I can't help feeling the special attraction for many of Jools' fans was also special guest Lulu, described by Jools as an originator of British R&B and one of the greatest singers of our age. Few would disagree after she sung some golden oldies, a couple of new songs written with Jools for the tour and finished, to the delight of the audience, with signature song Shout.

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The only disappointment was the sound amplification occasionally seemed to fade on my side of the field and those people who talk and squawk throughout the concert. I'm not a party-pooper but why don't they use their ticket money to buy Jools' CDs, stay at home listening to them while making all the noise they want.

Jools helped bring his 2¼-hour concert to a close with Enjoy Yourself… and we certainly did while a spectacular firework finale meant it ended with a bang.

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