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Perspectives: Hugh Laurie – Copper Bottom Blues

Perspectives: Hugh Laurie – Copper Bottom Blues

Sun May 5, 10-10.55pm, ITV

By Gabriel Tate
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Series three, episode seven
Hugh Laurie means it. You can tell by his face while he’s listening to late New Orleans blues legend Professor Longhair. And it’s the way in which he somehow combines a complete lack of self-consciousness with studied self-deprecation that makes this vanity project fun, rather than a chore, to watch. In his second ‘Perspectives’ documentary on the blues, he takes his band across America having first dropped into Jools Holland’s gaff for the obligatory ‘jam’.

Mostly, Laurie’s promoting a new album, but his journey (‘in every TV documentary there’s a journey, otherwise Ofcom levies a fine’) concludes on board the Queen Mary, where an ageing Longhair made a recording of a gig that turned young Hugh on to a whole new genre of music. The erstwhile Gregory House communicates his passion with complete conviction; his singing voice may be limited, but his respect for the music and its makers is profound and rather touching.
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