26 August 2002 | Sonatine97
Now This Is What I Call Music
In a media world full of fluff, triviality and mindlessly produced & manufactured pap-music, comes a polished diamond in a sea of plastic baubles.
"Later..." has been delighting a more mature & sophisticated music audience for a decade and long may it continue to do so.
Using a very standard but successful studio set our host, the very easy on the eye, Jools Holland introduces perhaps 3 or 4 groups or singers positioned almost adjacent to each other throughout the studio.
The set arrangement is complete with perhaps an audience of around 150 people in the mid 20s and above group, who seem to understand and appreciate fine music.
The choice of music is not themed, and neither does the show play "populist" music that would only really see light of day on MTV, Top of the Pops or children's TV programs where quality-music just isn't an option.
Instead the majority of artists are real musicians with a backing band who play real instruments. There are no over-dubs, no miming, no boy/girl bands prancing about like moron-fodder to a witless tune no one with even a iota of intelligence really gives a fig about.
Thus a typical show might open with a hard rock riff say Jeff Beck and then the next group will play some World Music, or Folk music or just a simple ballad before moving on to the next invited group on the show.
In all an artist will get to sing perhaps 2 or 3 songs in each 40 minute show, coupled with a brief but very informal chat with the lead.
All in all it makes for a very satisfying show that is easy on the eye as well as the ear. There are no fancy gimmicks, graphics, menus or other stupid video sfx here. Holland, is just a natural talent to host a show like this, and on a few occasions he actually gets his piano out and gets involved with a song or two from one of the bands.
"Later...." is a quality tv show, a cultural oasis in a desert full of averageness. If only it had a longer runtime rather than the 40 minutes it gets now.
Let The Good Times Rock (and Roll)