The best festival in the world

Jools Holland brings Llangollen Eisteddfod to foot-stomping climax

Boogie-woogie legend Jools Holland brought Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to a foot-stomping climax and hailed it as the “best festival in the world”.

The former Squeeze pianist, band leader, author, TV and radio presenter and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra  starred in the final concert to bring the curtain down on this year’s festival.

The concert also featured guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall and was sponsored by long time festival supporters, the Village Bakery.

Managing director Robin Jones said: “We were delighted to be sponsoring the Llangollen Eisteddfod again this year  especially as was the 70th ever festival.

“Jools and his band brought the house down, it was an absolutely phenomenal night that will live in the memory for a long, long time.

“The atmosphere was electric and there were people dancing in the aisles. It was the perfect end to a fantastic week at Llangollen.”

London-born Jools progressed from playing pubs in the East End docks as a teenage greaser, to leading his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and selling millions of records.

Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod. Jools Holland Big Band concert

Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod.
Jools Holland Big Band concert

He was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to the British music industry.

Jools had vowed to return to Llangollen following his first appearance  at the festival three years ago and after being made a vice president.

He said: “I was delighted and honoured to be asked to become a vice president of this remarkable festival. It is the best festival in the world.

“We had a wonderful time when we last performed in Llangollen which is such a beautiful little town. I loved the atmosphere, flowers, the appreciative audience and we met some fabulous people. It was an honour to appear.

“The festival was set up to promote peace and harmony among all nations after World War Two ended which I think is wonderful.

“The standard of young musicians and dancers who travel from all over the world to appear at Llangollen is testament to the organisers and volunteers who put in all the hard work to put the festival together.”

The festival’s musical director, Eilir Owen Griffiths, was thrilled to have secured Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra’s second appearance at Llangollen.

He said: “Jools Holland is not only a wonderful keyboard and piano player and singer; he is a real showman.

“His performance two years ago when he closed the week-long festival was simply amazing and so many people, regular supporters of the Eisteddfod, asked that we invite them back.”This was a very special celebration because it was the 70th festival this year..

“The audience was up on its feet for final numbers and there was an encore and standing ovation. It was a brilliant night.”