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Joan Armatrading Joan Armatrading
Album: Me Myself I - World Tour
Label: 429
Tracks: 15
Website: http://www.joanarmatrading.com

As someone who first saw Joan Armatrading at the City Hall in Newcastle when Love and Affection was riding high in the charts, I was intrigued to see her last year at the Sage in Gateshead as part of her farewell world tour.

What followed was a superb concert featuring Joan on guitar and keyboard, with no backing band, the intimacy of the performance was striking, with Joan explaining much of her career throughout.

The concert was just one of an amazing 235-date tour that took in four different continents and included 69 dates in the UK alone.

It was also the first time Joan had performed solo and the audiences lapped it up.

This CD captures the concert perfectly and there is also a concert DVD available.

Among the tracks you will find most of Joan's hits from her 44-year career - Down To Zero, Love and Affection, Drop the Pilot, and the anthemic Willow.

And throughout there is Joan's rich, mellifluous voice and her superb guitar playing on a variety of instruments - 6 and 12-string acoustics, and electrics.

I have always enjoyed the simplicity of Woncha Come On Home and here it is performed at its most rudimentary and sounds wonderful.

The acoustic songs sound fresh and strong - All the Way From America, Kissin' and Huggin' and Mama Mercy.

There's a slice of blues with My Baby's Gone, and guitar fireworks on a stunning Steppin' Out, as well as more poignant numbers such as Empty Highway.

And there's plenty of electric prowess on display - Me Myself I is a tour de force and there's the subtle keyboard numbers such as The Weakness In Me.

Joan Armatrading is one of the UK's most significant female performers and this is a wonderful reminder of all the great songs she has written.

That's not too say Joan is putting her feet up, she was at pains say this was only a farewell world tour so with a bit of luck she will be around for many years to come.

John Knighton