Jools Holland is Smashing It

The big man played piano for Lily Allen last night in a show that also featured Florence and the Machine and Young Fathers.

Your boy Jools Holland – slayer of the piano and host of the only live British music show that anyone seems to watch – brought forward an all-star line-up last night, featuring some of the country's greatest talents. And who are those musically gifted people, you ask? They are Florence and the Machine, Young Fathers and Lily Allen, all of whom have released new music this year.

First up: Florence and the Machine and her fearless anthem "Hunger", a track that runs through my veins like a life-force, every word pumping serotonin and regret and memories into my brain as it becomes the first thing of hers I've truly loved. I haven't felt this type of way about a song in a long time, and for the last few weeks it's been one of the things I've listened to first in the morning, often before eating or doing anything else. Here, she performs in quintessential Florence style – barefoot, twirling around the stage, in a fucking long dress that puts her in the canon of English folk-lore (watch above). Later, on Later… she's joined by Kelsey Lu to perform the track "100 Years", another track from Florence's forthcoming new album.


Second: Lily Allen, queen of the UK, no.1 person I would put on bank notes if someone gave me a job in politics, doing a new song from her record with Jools himself. Like Florence, Lily also released one of my favourite make a bad-time sound-good tracks of the year in "Trigger Bang", but here, on "Three", she's more low-key and pensive. Joined by the big man Jools who plonks around on the piano, the song sees Lily sing from the perspective of her three year-old child.

Third: Young Fathers, joined by the band TOY, who come through with a song that sounds like a heroin-addicted Ewan McGregor running through Edinburgh rendered sentient. This, strangely, is the group's debut performance on the show and the track comes from their album Cocoa Sugar, released earlier this year. Watch all the performances below.

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