Ah Joan. Last night, I was lucky enough to see Joan Armatrading LIVE in Canterbury.
The lobby was rife with both overpriced glasses of Rose and lesbians. Joan has of course always attracted a rather large gay following, which since the 80s has trickled down into a cult following, as she’s not really been in the spotlight lately.
For this tour, Joan has enlisted the help of the apparent “folk superstar” Chris Wood. After a limitless list of songs, including one upbeat “hit of his” which revolved around the Munich massacre of 1972 (way to lift our spirits Chris), the audience had grown restless, a sea of sighs and nail checks flowed through the crowd. An intermission was imminent, and the audience evacuated the auditorium, fearful of another song.
During the intermission, the audience were divided. Some enjoyed the upbeat and lively Chris Wood, whereas others such as myself felt cheated, after paying to see the legendary Joan. Regardless, everyone was excited to see Joan, and I was no exception. We milled back into the theatre. Joan appeared on stage, her guitar hanging from her neck. She had such a profound presence amongst us all, she lifted her guitar and began the first chords of Show Some Emotion.
The audience went quite literally ape-shit. She sung for what must have been well over 2 hours, She played a generous selection of her older material and effortlessly kept the audience gripped, all of us screaming the lyrics with her (and by all of us, it could have just been me, the wine was expensive, but oddly moreish)
She ended on one of her new songs. An eerie portrayal of adultery. Although all in all, if you get the opportunity to see Joan live, GO. She’s better now than she’s ever been.