it by bit we’ve been catching up on Later with Jools Holland (who is a story in himself.) While Best Beloved was doing other things, I thought I’d have a look at the last time Robert Palmer was on the show. He’d be surrounded by a gaggle of lessers, which made me suspect he’d get a single shot and be off; probably not worth dragging Best Beloved in from what she was doing.
One of the others was Macy Gray. Hearing her voice again, watching her perform I Try, I realized I’d forgotten what an astonishing voice she has.
Somehow I developed an uninformed attitude about Mary Chapin Carpenter at some point in the past. She sang Party Doll from Mick Jagger’s solo album. It melted me.
Palmer performed, not once, but thrice: with choir and band (Stone Cold), with David Grant and Jools doing a vocals and piano version of Lowell George’s Twenty Million Things, and ending the show with the choir doing Pride a capella. Palmer’s vocal control in each performance is perfect; it’s obvious his voice is doing exactly what he intends. As someone who merely carries a tune while wishing I was a real singer, it was glorious watching it done right.
I decided Best Beloved should see it after all. (When Pride snapped to its finish, she stared blankly for a moment, then laughed out loud. It takes work to get a reaction like that from her. Most gratifying.)