Yesterday evening I accepted a gracious invitation to visit the BBC Television Centre in Shepherds Bush to watch Later with Jools Holland being filmed. I have decided to report back on the experience of being part of one of TV’s best music shows. Upon arriving we were queued up with a few hundred or so others and made to wait to see if we were going to get in. No guest list for us sadly ;-)
After half an hour or so we were given out golden ticket or green sticker rather and swiftly shepherded into the canteen area where we had time to sink a cheeky little beer before heading onwards to the filming studio.
After the usual banter from the crew, the audience warm up began. We were introduced to the performance artists. On the roster were the Legendary Steve Millar Band (queue jokes regarding the Labour leadership), Cee Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley fame, Puff Daddy protégé Janelle Monae, the delightfully eccentric blues of C.W. Stoneking, Garage rock band the Jim Jones Revue and last but not least the Central African grooves of Cheikh Lo.
Also in attendance were guitar legend Duane Eddy with new collaborator Jarvis Cocker.
I was fortunate to witness some amazing music. Special highlights were Steve Millar Band with The Joker, C.W Stone King and his Jungle Lullaby and the surprisingly joyful Punk Pop of Janelle Monae.
The experience of being as part of the audience involved a hell of a lot of clapping, standing around, more clapping and enjoying the music on offer. There were a few hitches with the filming of the show which were handled admirably by the production crew and as well as filming the regular Friday slot programme the live show which aired at ten went seamlessly. The only downside was having to listen to Cee Lo’s F U (clean and dirty versions) song on six occasions and although it's a great tune it did begin to grate a bit near the end.
All in all it was an enjoyable evening spent in the company of some amazing artists and not too much of Jools’ boogie woogie piano solos to fill the time; especially impressive seeing as from start to finish we were there for 3 ½ hours!
You might even be able to catch a glimpse of me in the audience. Series 37 Episode 4 of Later with Jools Holland is being shown this Friday October 8. Click Here for more details.