What's especially great about Later... With Jools Holland is that every episode is a real mixed bag – it's the sort of show you could sit and watch with your dad, for example, and you'd definitely both enjoy it equally. Tuesday night's instalment was no exception, featuring a stellar line-up including King Krule, Wolf Alice, Grizzly Bear, SZA, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott of The Beautiful South, and RL Boyce. If you missed out, I'm here to talk you through it. Pull up a chair.
King Krule, backed by a full band (including saxophone, to match his new vibe, which I'm going to call 'lounge-chaos'), played "Dum Surfer" from his newly-released LP The OOZ. The performance, which you can see below, is typically urgent and enjoyably grubby. Watch below and let it rest on the surface of your skin.
Also on the show were Wolf Alice, who recently released their second album, Visions of a Life. It meant that Ellie Rowsell and co were locked in a UK chart battle with Shania Twain's Now for the top spot, and though it eventually lost out, it's a musically diverse and accomplished thing that sees them experimenting with a number of sounds. On last night's Jools, the band gave a pulsating rendition of single "Don't Delete the Kisses," as well as album track "Beautifully Unconventional," putting their formidable leader's vocals centre stage.
Grizzly Bear also dropped in to perform "Mourning Sound" from their new album Painted Ruins, to keep your boyfriend happy (will I ever stop doing 'your boyfriend' jokes about indie bands, Magic 8 Ball? 'Signs point to 'no''.) Their appearance was exactly what we've come to expect from the crown princes of indie rock, in that it was pretty, low-key, and perfectly measured.
SZA, purveyor of some of the warmest, wittiest, most relatable R&B right now joined proceedings to play "Normal Girl," a cut from her 2017 album Ctrl. Bask in her note-perfect vocals, and clear comfort and effortlessness on the stage, for your health.
The embarrassment of riches continues with probably my personal favourite act of the night, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott. Heaton and Abbott as a partnership are known for fronting The Beautiful South (otherwise known as the most gorgeously, mundanely English group ever formed), but last night they performed "Happy Hour," a classic track by Heaton's pre-Beautiful South band The Housemartins, and, of course, it ruled with the addition of Abbott's distinctive voice. Would also just like to ask on behalf of Paul Heaton: when will your non-Liam Gallagher fave show up on Jools Holland in a fucking anorak???
Finally, blues artist RL Boyce gave a rendition of his track "Roll and Tumble," flexing easily the best guitar tones of the night, and rounding off a fun and eclectic episode of the best show on British television.
If you're in the UK you can watch the whole thing back here, you lucky sods.
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