Later with Jools enters the dull zone

Jools Holland’s weekly shin dig has been on air for nearly 20 years.  Covering the full repertoire of musical genres and featuring just about every artist known to man the show has become a BBC tradition – a constant reminder of quality among all the garbage.  Though after watching this weeks Live Later on  Tuesday  it is evident that the new format of featuring proper live performances (not recorded on the Tuesday before the show) has failed to galvanise and invorgorate the show. 

On the programme there was a distinct lack of excitement – lots of decent musicians but many would be placed under MOR and easy listening.  Of course Later has always tried to appeal to a wide range of music fans and has always featured its fair share of banal pop artists, although where as previously there was always one or two bands that would cause a stir…

now there seems to be a constant stream of acts that offer safe, family entertainment – the only slightly risque band on there were the Manic Street Preachers – who lets face it finished causing a stir with their punk manifesto around 15 years ago – although at least they tried to look the part – in a middle-aged – over-weight kind of way.

This is partly due to the new format of LIVE performance and the BBC not willing to take too many chances – heaven forbid they wouldn’t want an incident such as Iggy Pop getting his cock out!  Or Kirt Cobain bragging about his sexual conquests…..With the BBC under increased scrutiny more than ever they are desperate to play it safe.  Jools Holland himself has also become dull and less competent  since the new format – unable to think of anything remotely interesting to say when interviewing guests – his questions get a radical overhaul for the Friday show – he quite clearly struggles with the live format and often stumbles his way through, only to be offered a reprieve after the Friday make-over. 

Maybe there aren’t many musicians out there any more that are driven by their desire  to express themselves in any manner for the art of entertainment.  Of course with the internet and the huge coverage of live gigs the artist can now express themselves in their own surroundings without having to appear on a mainstream TV show –  also TV music shows are a dying breed with the format replaced by live concerts and festivals.  The sheer diversity of music through the multimedia platform has replaced the traditional studio show – although none has the influence and brazen publicity of liberal expression than the traditional format.   People expect weird and wonderful behaviour watching live concerts, but when surrounded by a group of reserved musicians and an unsuspecting TV public the sheer audacity of a liberated experience can still make great TV and not-too mention publicity.


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