Birmingham Town Hall Concert Review

  • Michael Wood
  • Friday, 27 March 2015
  • Birmingham Mail Birmingham Mail

    Joan Armatrading
    Birmingham Town Hall

    5 stars

    THE Brummie singer-songwriter quite possibly played her last concert in Birmingham on Wednesday night and there was a distinct end-of-an-era feel to it.
    At 65, the former schoolgirl from the Brookfields district of the city has made it clear that this will be her “last major tour” and, wandering on stage, she joked: “I came on here for something, but I can’t remember what.”

    Then, three songs in, she announced that, because this was the 119th date of the tour and she was tired, she had decided to cut the concert short and this was to be her last song.
    Appearing solo, without her customary band and with just a small selection of guitars and a piano, she then went on to captivate the audience for an hour-and-a-half.

    Sparkling throughout with typically Brummie self-deprecating wit, she filled the Town Hall stage with the force of her personality, the power of her playing and, of course, that voice in a million on songs such as City Girl, from her first album way back in 1972.

    alfway through, she introduced a slideshow of highlights from her four-decade career with a shot of the fresh-faced singer outside Ronnie Scott’s back in 1973.
    There followed pictures of her with Paul McCartney, Elton John and Nelson Mandela, with her MBE and in the pages of the Beano.

    To finish, she launched into a memorable rendition of Love And Affection, following it with other fan favourites Rosie, Drop The Pilot, Me Myself I and, as an encore, Willow – the crowd singing back to her the chorus raising the hairs on the back of the neck.