Jools delights with late note

Jools Holland, Newcastle City Hall

Jools Holland, Newcastle City Hall

For the past few years, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra have served as somewhat of a starter's pistol in the North-East's Christmas spirit stakes.

Having previously favoured dates during the first week of December, the on-stage gathering of top-notch talent has provided the perfect springboard for all things festive.

But this year Mr Holland had chosen to wait until Christmas was just a whisper away before gracing Tyneside for a two-night stay at Newcastle City Hall. The decision only served to heighten the feel-good atmosphere among the sell-out audience.

As has become expected, soul diva Ruby Turner was on hand to assist proceedings.

And former Soft Cell frontman, Marc Almond, thankfully recovered from the horrific motorbike accident which left him in a coma, leant his distinctive vocals for the evening.

Jools also surprised us with a trilogy of tracks which saw him pick up an electric guitar. Is there nothing that this man can't master?

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