Jools Holland’s annual visit to Newcastle City Hall always seems to occur in early December and as James and I have been to see him there on several occasions, often wearing our finest Christmas jumpers, the gig feels like the start of the festive party season for us!
This year, Jools and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra have been supported on tour by a solo artist called Purdy. I always try and make it on time to catch the support act as it’s a great way to uncover rising stars. I’d never heard of Purdy but when I read that her celebrity fans include Craig Charles and Mick Jagger I knew she was worth arriving promptly for!
Purdy got the evening off to a great start, her soulful voice and stunning Bond girl looks had me transfixed, she reminded a bit of Paloma Faith. I particularly loved her cover of a Peggy Lee song called Johnny Guitar and as she performed it you could tell it was a special song to her too! I got the chance to catch up with Purdy in the foyer after her performance and she was lovely, very down to earth with an incredible smile. This lady is definitely one to watch!
When Jools and his gang arrived on stage you could tell they were in high spirits, I don’t where they got their energy from, especially considering it was the last night of the tour! Jools referred to Newcastle City Hall as his second home and when he declared his love for the venue and they city it was clear he really meant it.
There was already a great atmosphere but energy levels in the venue were knocked up a notch when special guest KT Tunstall arrived on stage like an excited guitar playing puppy! I haven’t heard KT’s songs for ages but as soon as she broke in to ‘Suddenly I See’ I found myself singing along to every word and the whole crowd got to their feet for a cover The Jackson’s ABC.
It was also a real pleasure to see the return of one of my favourite female vocalists Ruby Turner, boy oh boy can that woman sing! Everytime I hear her live I get goosebumps and find myself close to tears, that’s the power her voice has! If you’ve never heard of her, give your ears a treat and look her up on YouTube immediately!