REVIEW: Jools Holland at Borde Hill Garden

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WITH picnic tables at every turn, plenty of Pimms and delicious-looking finger food, Borde Hill Garden was awash with people enjoying themselves on Saturday night.

The garden, near Haywards Heath, hosted a picnic-style outdoor concert featuring Jools Holland and his rhythm and blues orchestra.

A mix of families, couples and groups of friends seemed to enjoy the evening in equal measure, which began with a set from five-piece Glaswegian band called Big Figure.

Borde Hill was the perfect setting – huge amounts of space for people to set out their own little picnic areas, and, when you managed to join the crowd of people in front of the stage, a glimpse of the beautiful house.

Before Jools came on stage, his brother Chris gave his own performance, which warmed up the audience nicely.

And when it was time for the man himself, the atmosphere turned electric in anticipation of the boogie-woogie piano master’s appearance.

Jools does a fantastic job engaging his audience, and soon had people getting up from their foldable chairs and picnic rugs to dance along to a great selection of songs.

His special guests proved worthy companions with stunning vocals from Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall, and a rapturous welcome was given to acclaimed trombonist Rico Rodriguez. Marc Almond, one half of Soft Cell, also proved popular.

As always, huge praise must go to the wonderful team of musicians who make up Jools’ rhythm and blues orchestra.

The foot-stomping show was a great night out – and thankfully, there wasn’t a drop of rain in sight.