Review: Jools and the gang rock the Regent again on Hallowe’en

Evening Star / EADT - News; Jools Holland performing at The Regent in Ipswich.; pics by Alex Fairful

Evening Star / EADT - News; Jools Holland performing at The Regent in Ipswich.; pics by Alex Fairfull 26-10-08 - Credit: Archant

Do you remember those dance hall days?

Jools Holland poster, Ipswich Regent

Jools Holland poster, Ipswich Regent - Credit: Archant

Do you remember those dance hall days?

Before the rise of television, every town had dance halls and Saturday night was the night for dancing to those big band sounds.

There used to be a dance hall (latterly a disco), here at the Regent too.

Dance hall days was back at the Regent on Hallowe’en when Jools Holland brought his Rythm & Blues Orchestra back to town, and filled the theatre with dancing.

There were fireworks nearby on Christchurch Park, and fireworks of the musical kind from Jools and his gang who packed the stage.

Jools is something of a musical legend himself and he and his piano dominate centre stage, even though he is keen to give up the spotlight every so often to introduce his virtuoso musicians - on drums, guitar, saxophone and the rest.

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There was something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

The show featured blues and rock, soul of course, a touch of jazz and boogy-woogie, someting for everyone - and ska too.

The arrival of Pauline Black and Arthur `Gaps’ Hendrickson from ska band The Selecter turned a concert into dance night. It was party time.

There was the James Bond song (appropriate with the new movie released), Too Much Pressue and On My Radio. Great nostalgia.

They even saved Enjoy Yourself (of the Specials) for the envitable encore by the whole gang at the end of the show.

The big band sound almost disappeared when four Liverpool lads changed the world and set the trend of four musicians/singers on stage in a group.

Jools’ own brand is to turn back the clock and pack the stage with talent; a whole variety show in a single package.

Juiles is the main man.

In some bands the piano might be tucked away at the back but he leads from the front, with variety and plenty of surprises.

With a powerful rock beat, soaring guitars and a sharp, strong horn section this was a heady mixture.

Music not to watch, but to get up on your feet and feel, and to move to it.

There was a really unusual version of When The Saints, for example, which I hadn’t heard before.

Jools sings himself, but not exclusively.

Jools always introduces some great female lead singers; all headliners in their own right.

On Saturday there was youngster Mabel Ray, Louise Marshall and the always incredible Ruby Turner.

Ruby has an amazing voice that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck,

I loved her version of Same Old Heart.

I could have listened to her all night and been happy!

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen her namesake, Tina, in concert four times over the years.

But I think Ruby is up there with her.

Whisper it; I think Ruby is even better.

What a talent!

It was top quality entertainment and a great night out.

Come back soon Jools - and bring the gang with you.