I have been applying via the BBC notifications emails for every show for the Later With Jools Holland show since the applications went online. So that’s a lot of shows applied for and to my surprise I got confirmation I had two complimentary tickets for 16 April 2013 show. This was only the second programme to be recorded at the Maidstone Studio’s as they were previously filmed in the now defunct BBC Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush. My last time in a studio with Jools Holland was the day he was suspended by The Tube, 16 January 1987. That evening he’d said a rude word during a trailer for the show on children’s ITV. We were none the wiser in the studio in Newcastle that evening to as what had happened. That evening we saw The Mission, The Christians, Rosie Vela, Michelle Shocked and Timbuk 3 perform all live in the studio.
Well getting to these studios was a lot easier than that trip to The Tube, when the country was under a foot of snow. Within two and half hours my friend Wayne and I were at the gates two hours early, so a local drinking establishment was sort out. There you could tell who was going to the television recording as they were all wearing dark clothing as requested on our tickets. Just before 7pm we trundled into the studios where we discovered that audience would be approximately 500 for the show. Gradually we were herded into the recording studio and positioned around the building. As usual I had a giant in front of me.
From 8pm until around 9.30pm we heard all the songs recorded for the longer Friday show. This included Haim and Night Beds both having to retake a track each. After that we had around 10 minutes until we went live for the 30 minute Tuesday broadcast and everything went like clockwork. I have to say I was very impressed with Everything Everything and Night Beds. Primal Scream and Jamie Cullum as you would expect were professional and very slick. The biggest disappointment had to be Haim, one of the bands built up by the press but in fact were not very original. Tracy Thorn discussed her new book with Jools and the Portuguese singer Ana Moura who had such a strong voice completed to the line-up. By 11pm we were in the car driving back up to sleepy Northamptonshire after a very enjoyable evening in Kent.