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Jools Holland ready to 'read the room' at Down Hall concert

Jools Holland (11306497)
Jools Holland (11306497)

Jools Holland revealed he will remember some old advice from the legendary guitarist Eric Clapton to ensure his Live at Down Hall performance hits the perfect note.

Holland and his sensational Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will be the headline act on Saturday, June 15 at the inaugural open-air event in the countryside setting of the Hatfield Heath hotel 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 as he recalled some wisdom from another of Britain's most successful musicians of his era.

Holland said: "Whether I am playing on the stage at Down Hall, a recording studio, a TV show, the Royal Albert Hall or playing in my front room – it's all the same. You are plugging into the same thing, which is music.

"Eric Clapton once told me it's important to 'read the room' when you are doing a show and I've always remembered that.

"If you are in a small intimate setting, you play a certain way but if you are in a venue when people want to dance, you play dance music! You've got to adjust what you are playing a little bit.

"These types of event are really special. When you are outside, you want to bring a feeling of warmth and joy to it. An outdoor show in the British summer has a unique atmosphere to it and I'm looking forward to playing Live at Down Hall very much."

The 61-year-old, who was once part of the band Squeeze and has played with many of the world's most successful musicians of the past 30 years during his career, insists he still gets a huge kick from performing.

He said: "Do I get the same buzz from performing? No, I get a bigger one these days.

"I actually enjoy it more these days. You can hone it down more and work out what works.

"It's always great to see an audience connect with you and when you can communicate without using any words. It might be just a foot tapping along or them getting up involuntarily to dance – when you are feeling that as well, it's a great connection. It's the greatest feeling in the world."

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 see: www.liveatdownhall.co.uk/tickets/ or email: live@downhall.co.uk.

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