Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

RICHARD BATSON Blickling Hall

RICHARD BATSON

> Blickling Hall

There is a display of crowns inside Blickling Hall at the moment, but it was the Jools in the park that sparkled on Saturday night.

Holland brought his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra to the lakeside with just one aim in mind - to party.


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Within the first few songs, the 7000-strong crowd was bobbing to the beat of a rumbling boogie woogie, and echoing an “uh oh doobie doobie doowah” refrain back to a stage packed with 16 talented musicians.

Holland's nimble fingers rattled the ivories. His ivory smile beamed out the lyrics and jollied the cheering crowd to join in - not that they needed persuading.

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The brass section took it in turns to solo, with the saxes of Derek Nash and Lisa Grahame the pick of the bunch, while there was a special roar for the trombone of fans' favourite Rico Rodriguez.

The tempo rolled from rock through to gentler chugging ska - and the regular vocalists Sam Brown and Ruby Turner, as usual added another dimension. Brown can range from raunchy blues to breathy ballads, such as Valentine Moon, while Turner's gospel-soul version of Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind was one of the highlights.

By the end of the night the previously picnicking park was heaving to CC Rider, and singing a cappella the signature lifestyle message of Enjoy Yourself. When Holland and his infectious fun and music are on the stage, it is impossible not to.

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