Cape Town Review


  • Nwabisa Mbana
  • Tuesday, 07 July 2015
  • It is not often that we have the privilege of seeing one of the world’s greatest musicians performing live on stage. Thanks to Real Concerts, Cape Town had the honour last night, when Joan Armatrading played at the CTICC. Her entrance on stage was greeted by a standing ovation, before she even opened her mouth.

    Before she came on stage though, the audience was treated to the fresh-faced Jesse Clegg, who enthralled us with a rousing version of Sinnerman (first made famous by Nina Simone). He then introduced his newest single, released two days ago, Use Me. It’s good. Watch this space.

    Not for nothing has Joan Armatrading had a career spanning over 40 years, 18 albums and a list of hits as long as your arm. From the first song to the last, her iconic voice brought goose bumps to the flesh and tears to the eyes.

    The concert, billed ‘A Very Special Solo Evening with Joan Armatrading’ was a musical trip through her career as she moved between guitars and piano, playing a mix of much beloved hits and her less well-known ones. Armatrading caresses each instrument like a lover, and they respond accordingly, eliciting standing ovations from the audience numerous times.

    Between songs, Armatrading was personable and funny. Mid-concert we were treated to a slide show of pictures of her career – the people she’s met, the places she’s been, the awards she’s won. She talked the audience through it, making funny, wry comments throughout, allowing a glimpse into her stardom.

    Through an incredible, electric rendition of Me, Myself, I, we were reminded that, despite her 64 years, Joan Armatrading is the kind of rock star who never gets old. She is a musical genius. What an honour to witness her in an intimate venue like the CTICC.

    My favourite moment? When, during the slide show during In These Times, a picture of Nelson Mandela showed and the audience erupted. Now that’s goose bump material.

    Joan Amatrading performed at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 4 & 5 July 2015.