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Judge Jules: 'I'm grateful that after 30 years, I'm still able to try new things and be creative'

PUBLISHED: 15:22 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:22 10 April 2019

Judge Jules plays with the backing of a live 10-piece band in London on Friday. Picture: Ryan Dinham.

Judge Jules plays with the backing of a live 10-piece band in London on Friday. Picture: Ryan Dinham.

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Dance music icon Judge Jules is adding an extra dimension to his shows with a new concept arriving at Scala on Friday, April 12.

His show at Scala is the second of a five-show tour of the country.His show at Scala is the second of a five-show tour of the country.

After more than three decades in the game, the decorated DJ is about to introduce London to Judge Jules: Live, which will see him deliver a night of dance music backed by a live 10-piece band. So what exactly are we to expect?

“Something very different,” replies Jules. “I’m excited to get things on the road – we’ve been working on this project for well over a year so it’s great to see things finally coming to fruition.

“It’s a difficult concept to explain to someone who hasn’t seen the show, as people will likely have preconceptions about live dance music shows they’ve seen elsewhere – whether with a full orchestra, or DJ ‘live’ shows using keyboards and FX.

“What we’re doing is totally different. For two reasons – we’re using a 10-piece jazz/funky band, and the tracks themselves are wholly reconstructed as new versions, created from the ground up specifically for the show.”

The dance DJ is promising something completely different as he plays bespoke versions of songs that span his career. Picture: Ryan Dinham.The dance DJ is promising something completely different as he plays bespoke versions of songs that span his career. Picture: Ryan Dinham.

This creative element is particularly key. Jules – real name Julius O’Riordan – has curated every element of the performance; using the variety afforded to him by the band to rework songs in a style unique to this live show.

Set over 90 minutes, Judge Jules: Live will feature music picked to represent the breadth and scale of Jules’ career. He’s not offering any spoilers, though.

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“I’m reluctant to give the game away by revealing what will be played exactly.

“I’ve taken a range of tracks that have stood out during my career, so expect stuff you’ll recognise, but wholly re-invented as a combination of funky, ethereal and jazzy, with underlying dance beats.”

Judge Jules: Live debuted in Sheffield last month, and Scala’s show on Friday comes ahead of dates in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester. The man at the heart of it all is clearly excited to bring a new experience to his audience.

“Pushing yourself to try new things is the key to having a long career, and for me this is a particularly exciting chapter,” he explains.

“I’m grateful that after thirty years I am still able to try new things and be creative.”

Jules will take his live show to festival stages later this summer, but for now he’s focused on nailing it at more traditional ‘gig’ venues up and down the land.

“Scala is an iconic venue for live music, and I’m a north Londoner, so it made perfect sense.”

Judge Jules: Live plays at Scala on Friday (April 12). For more details and tickets, click here.

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