Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Joan Armatrading - still rocking

How terrific (and nostalgic too) to have seen Joan Armatrading on tour last night. The British singer/songwriter - 60 this year and as reclusive as ever - has a new album and tour and it was just as good as seeing her back in the 70s or 80s. A more mature figure now but with her guitars (and that infectious grin) plus a tight 3 piece band and her glorious voice - that mixture of fire and ice - it seemed an effortless 2 hour show packing in new songs and those favourites like "Love and Affection", "Willow", "Show Some Emotion", "Tall in the Saddle" etc. My partner who did not know her absolutely loved it and is now downloading and copying those cds to ipod. The venue was packed with a mixed audience who certainly had a good time too.

It is so good to see an artist with longevity - like Joni Mitchell or Annie Lennox - still out there and doing it. I absolutely loved Joan's 1976 album when I first heard it with those songs like "Down to Zero" and "Join The Boys" and her following ones were just as good - and we saw 2 great concerts of hers over the years, as well as last night's. Pity though she does not feature material from her earlier 1975 album (its not even available now to buy or download - and I lost my vinyl version) "Back To The Night" with that great title track, "Stepping Out", "Travelled So Far", "Cool Blue" etc.

It makes one think how many of today's young artists (who have to sell themselves via those raunchy videos) write their own material or will still be packing them in in 35 years time like Joan Armatrading! Today's music biz is just not geared to promoting artists for the long haul but drops these kids after a few hits... its just the privileged few like Beyonce and of course Madonna and Grace Jones who can control every aspect of their brand. Joan is certainly in that group and on her terms (and without having to sell her personal life) and can still tour (she is all over Europe next) without having to top the charts, but still sell well regularly. The dvd on her 'Into The Blues' is a terrific recent concert of hers from San Francisco - how terrific that whether its San Francisco or Croydon one can still get a great response from a packed house.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! JA was always great. Since you mention the raunchy video issue, consider how low-key Joan was in contrast to (say)Sinead O'Connor, in her rejection of the rubbishy side of show-biz.
    And consider Donna Summer, who I now (following the obituaries) believe would have preferred to avoid the raunchy vids put allowed herself to be pushed into it.
    I agree about the need for any girl in the business to sort out in her own mind what she wants to do, rather than listening to record producers.