Years ago Jools Holland's show was a much needed blast of not always fresh air in the New Year's Eve TV schedule however by last year it felt like it a long since run out of gas. This year was made merrier by an intriugingline up. With no disrespect to Emile Sande, Paloma Faith or Jake Bugg the show seemed to be about erm older talent, much of which was clearly coming back from some dark places.
The spectacle of Adam Ant was a sad reminder of the problems he has faced and Dexy's annoying jaunty reworking of Geno a reminder of what a frustrating git Kevin Rowland can be. But emerging, looking like the 3rd bloke in the queue at the Post Office, was Roland Gift and what is still an absolutely incredible voice. He went at his material like it mattered, a quality that he shared with The Dubliners who despite being more that one member short of their classic line ups tore into the stuff with a zest.
There is a gift that some artists have of always being in the picture even if it is not about them. Billy Bragg was the master at this. It is clearly a gift that Paloma Faith shares, her teeth and eyebrows were barely out of shot all night ,and in huge disproportion to her rather low key formal contribution.