Jools Holland’s “Later”


Jools Holland’s “Later”; Friday night TV.
Kick-back, chill-out, knock back the booze;
sit back, see who’s on, who’s playing,
anything for me?

The same old, hackneyed crowd.
The overrated, the has-beens,
the callow wannabees. The rowdies
for rowdiness’ sake; nothing for me.
I cannot connect; am unable to emote.
I sigh; extend my arm for the remote. . .

But wait . . . the girl singer:
soft, honeyed vocals;
soaring, swooping,
effortless range.
Singing with passion;
commanding the stage.
She’s here, from nowhere;
a sudden, new star.
Behind her, a guy
on acoustic guitar,
softly strumming
shimmering chords.
She closes her eyes,
sings herself
into the dream.
Sings me, too,
into the dream.
The dream I remember,
the dream of sheer bliss;
watching singers,
artists like this.
The dream I would have,
watching them sing;
expressing their essence,
their inner being.
The dream I now try
to enact every day;
making words dance,
making them play.

The British singer Adele is in the news today, announcing the dates of her next tour in 2016.  A couple of weeks ago I – along with millions of others – watched, enthralled, as she was interviewed on TV by Graham Norton, and sang songs from her new album.  The show was on BBC, and I was reminded of the fact that Adele got her first breakthrough by appearing on the BBC programme “Later, with Jools Holland”.  I must have watched most of the editions of “Later”, over the years; it’s become part of the fabric of late-night viewing on a Friday.  I was watching one of the programmes a few weeks ago, when I was suddenly transfixed by a relatively unknown female vocalist – not Adele, in this case, needless to say, but a girl performing under the name “Jones”.  I hope she becomes successful, although I doubt whether she’ll be able to emulate Adele and become a global superstar.  Anyway, it was watching her performance on “Later” that inspired the above poem.


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