Later…..with Jools Holland at the Maidstone studios. Why is it when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere the traffic is always a nightmare. Especially as I missed my chance to go to the show earlier in the year. Anyway thankfully I did manage to get there on time and after going through security was shown into a small studio to wait.
There was a bar but I didn’t have any money with me and even if I had I’d left my wallet in the car. The studio walls were covered in a huge black drapes except for one small area which was open to reveal the wall behind which looked just like the wall of the studio they used to shoot the Old Grey Whistle Test in! The ceiling was covered in studio hoists and an old Vinten tripod sat forlornly in one corner. Outside the toilets were lots of flight cases marked The Killers – exciting stuff!
I don’t regularly watch the show – I didn’t even know that there were two shows – a pre-recorded one that goes out on a Friday and a live one that goes out tonight – but I got the tickets and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do so here I am. I have to say the reason that I don’t watch the show as often as I used to is that it no longer features the sort of bands I like but I guess that’s the problem with getting older. Having said that tonight’s line up looks ok. The aforementioned Killers although I’m not a fan, Boy George – last time I saw him he was just called George and jumped up to sing a couple of songs while the lead singer of Bow Wow Wow took a break. Chase and Status – I’ve spent the last couple of years wondering who or what Chase and Status were as they seemed to crop up everywhere so here was a chance to find out!
I mused as I stood there as to which bands I would like to be nearest to once we got into the studio – I figured maybe Boy George or The Killers – the latter because my sister-in-law is a huge fan and I figured it’d be a good wind up. They called us in my the numbers on the stickers we were given when we arrived. We went over the road and into the huge brightly lit studio and were ushered into one of the four corners. I looked round and realised that I was between Chase and Status and The Killers and I wasn’t going to complain about that!
They explained that they were going to record the hour long show first and then would do the live show at 10pm. I was impressed that they recorded the show exactly as you see it on tv without stopping which would be an easy thing to do. I spent so much time watching the cameras which I found almost as interesting as the music. I thought there were 5 – two on tripods, two hand held and one on a crane but during the live show I noticed a 6th handheld camera that I hadn’t spotted before as he was filming the drummers and was hidden for most of the evening.
I enjoyed all of the performers – the Orwells were fun with the lead singer’s ridiculous Robert Plant posturing! I thought they stood up well considering their youth and inexperience in a room which was filled with more established artists. I even spotted the guy from Chase and Status tapping his hands along with them! Even though I enjoyed them live I’m not sure I’d buy an album as I’m not sure the music would stand on it’s own (having said that I noticed that if you sign up to their news letter you get a free download of an ep – may just do that!).Chase and Status weren’t quite as I was expecting and it was refreshing to see them playing instruments, even a guitar, rather than just a load of computer sequences that I’d envisaged. Boy George was right down the far end but I enjoyed the two songs he did from his new album and the oldie Everything I own. (Shocked that he looked so good for his age which is similar to mine but he does have a make up artist on tour with him!!) I was initially disappointed by the Killers and had it just been the one hour show wouldn’t have been that impressed but I enjoyed the two songs they did on the live show more.
Songwriter Jimmy Webb who wrote classics like Galveston, Up, Up and Away, By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Wichita Lineman sang at the piano with former Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie who then sang a solo song in the middle of the studio in amongst a wash of moving lights which looked very impressive from where I was standing. Denai Moore was the final act who sang one song in each show – the first with a guitar and the second alone at the piano. I liked her voice which was quirky – may check her stuff out.
After the live show we all made to leave – some of the bands were quite happy to interact with the fans especially Brandon Flowers from the Killers – so as he was having photographs taken with (mostly female) fans I snapped one to wind up the Sister-in-law! After a few minutes he had to go and walked right past me towards the door so I smiled and said goodnight!
So anyway a good night out – not bad for a freebie! I’d certainly go again and it’s one more thing crossed off the bucket list (not that I have one)