Leo Sayer and Squeeze’s Chris Difford to join Jools Holland for York Barbican gig

Jools Holland: on tour for 32 autumn and winter dates

BOOGIE WOOGIE pianist Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will be joined on tour for the first time by veteran singer Leo Sayer, as well as original Squeeze compadre Chris Difford.

Both Sayer and Difford will perform at York Barbican on November 11, Harrogate International Centre on November 27 and Leeds First Direct Arena on the 32-date itinerary’s closing night, December 20. Sayer, but not Difford, will be a guest at Holland’s Sheffield City Hall show on December 3.

Tickets for Holland’s 24th autumn and winter tour will go on sale at 10am on Friday (February 7) via Ticketmaster, See Tickets, Ticketline and Stargreen, as well as the venues.

Leo Sayer: touring with Jools Holland’s orchestra for the first time in 2020

Joining jaunty Jools too will be two long-term participants, gospel, blues and soul singer Ruby Turner, who has written songs with Holland, and original Squeeze drummer Gilson Lavis. Regular vocalist Louise Marshall will be there each show too.

Sayer, 71, who became an Australian citizen in 2009 after moving to Sydney, New South Wales, in 2005, charted in the Top Ten with all of his first seven hits between 1973 and 1978: The Show Must Go On, One Man Band, Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance), Moonlighting, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, the chart-topping When I Need You and How Much Love.

Further success followed with I Can’t Stop Loving You (Though I Try) and More Than I Can Say in 1978, Have You Ever Been In Love in 1982 and Thunder In My Heart, contributing vocals to Meck’s number one in 2006.

Chris Difford: Squeezing in autumn and winter dates with Jools Holland

Difford, Holland’s fellow Squeeze co-founder, has worked through the years with Glen Tilbrook, also writing with Elton John, Paul Carrack, Lisa Stansfield, Bryan Ferry, Helen Shapiro, Elvis Costello and Holland too, who calls him “the John Lennon of London, the John Betjeman of Blackheath and the Alain Delon of Deptford”.

Holland and his orchestra have performed previously with Eddi Reader, Lulu, Joss Stone, Fine Young Cannibals’ Roland Gift, Spice Girl Melanie C and Marc Almond. For his 2020 tour, UB40 featuring Ali and Astro will join him for three November gigs in Guildford and London.  

Jools is recording his next album, whose focus will be on piano stylings, duets and collaborations with top instrumentalists, for autumn release.

Tickets for York Barbican, where Holland last played on October 31 2019, will be on sale on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office; Harrogate, 01423 502116 or harrogatetheatre.co.uk; Leeds, firstdirectarena.com; Sheffield, 0114 278 9789 or sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.