Wolverhampton 2014 Concert Review

Joan Armatrading's music is like an old and trusted friend.
Her contralto voice contributed greatly to the soundtrack of my student days of the mid 1970s as I battled to get to grips with organic chemistry synthetic pathways, listening to BRMB legend Robin Volk playing her early albums through my tiny transistor radio.

Since then, as is often the way, I've often lost track of her but she would always eventually pop back into my consciousness and we would 'catch up', as old friends do.

With the announcement recently of her final tour it was only right that I, and quite a few more 'old friends' should go along to Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre on Sunday evening to say goodbye and thanks for the memories.
And what a way to say goodbye to touring! Playing completely solo for the first time, Joan treated her adoring fans to wonderful versions of some of her most popular and endearing songs, such as Drop The Pilot, Me Myself I, Love And Affection, and All The Way From America.

Accompanying herself on either guitar or piano, Joan showed what an accomplished musician she is as well as possessing a truly original voice and wonderful songwriting skills.

Her guitar playing has always, it seems, been underrated but Joan clearly demonstrated that she can hold her own in comparison to many of the more recognised rock and blues guitarists.

The intimate nature of the evening was further enhanced when, midway through her set, Joan paused to share some stories of her long career illustrated by old photographs. Just as friends do.

The climax of the set was a beautiful rendition of Willow with the audience gently singing along. An emotional moment for everyone.
Joan has no plans to retire from music but is unlikely to tour again so this was one of her very last appearance on stage here in the West Midlands.

There is one further opportunity to see her in March next year at Birmingham Town Hall. My advice would be to make sure you are there. It would be a pity to miss it.