Jools Holland keen to reveal Down Hall concert surprises

PUBLISHED: 15:18 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:18 13 June 2019

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Picture: Alan Davies

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Picture: Alan Davies


Jools Holland has told fans – and even the members of his own orchestra – to expect a few surprises for his Live at Down Hall performance this weekend.

Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will play Live at Down HallJools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will play Live at Down Hall

The former Squeeze star and his sensational Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will be the headline act at Down Hall Hotel & Spa on Saturday, June 15.

It will be the inaugural open-air event in the countryside setting of Down Hall's grounds before James Morrison wows the crowds at the same venue on the Essex/Hertfordshire border 24 hours later.

It promises to be a memorable weekend for music lovers and Holland - with a glittering career in the music business and millions of record sales to his name - is determined to make it a night to remember with a few unplanned extras set to be added to the set.

He said: "There is a set list but it's never the same twice. We have a lot of different soloists - Ruby Turner, Mabel Ray, Louise Marshall, The Selecter - so there are all of these different elements.

James Morrison will play Live at Down HallJames Morrison will play Live at Down Hall

"We have a set which works very well for them and then between that, I will read what I think will work best on the night.

"There is quite a lot of spontaneity and I think people enjoy that.

"The rhythm section all play it by ear but the horns section will have to read it, so you can see them all going bonkers sometimes trying to find the sheet music they haven't played for a long time, which is quite good fun!

"It all adds to the atmosphere and keeps them on their toes. They are all good musicians - they can cope with it!"

Holland's line-up is brimming with top musical talent and he insists he is always keen to share the limelight.

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He said: "I love hearing different performers in the orchestra playing.

"You never quite know what they will be doing with their solos and that is a big part of it for me.

"People come along to watch because they want to enjoy it so it's a pleasure, it's a joy - so it's not like work at all."

And the 61-year-old boogie woogie musican insists he has no plans to scale back on his incredible work ethic, which has seen him clock up the miles throughout 2019 on a UK tour.

The pianist said: "Music is like an enigma that you can never quite work out. You are constantly trying to figure it out and that is the great thing about it.

"You might play something with a different feel that you haven't played before and it is like discovering something new.

"As long as that keeps happening, I will keep on going because I love it.

"I play what I love and I love what I play, so I feel very fortunate in that respect. You can just keep going."

Holland's show at Down Hall is set to be a spectacular event with Ruby Turner, The Selecter and Mabel Ray also performing with his talented orchestra.

He said: "In short, if you think of the vastness and the joy of my orchestra and on top of that, the originators of British ska in The Selecter and the greatest blues and gospel singer in Britain today in Ruby Turner - if that doesn't add up to a nice night out, I don't know what does!"

To book tickets to the event, visit or email

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