Monday, 13 October 2014

Right from the start

One of the best gigs I've ever been to last Friday night in Warrington (first time there too!!) at the beautiful Parr Hall, for part of Joan Armatrading's final tour of small venues, and also her first solo tour - just her, her guitars and her piano and it was sheer magic from start to finish.
I snapped up the tickets a year ago when they first came up and managed to get front row centre stalls - so it felt like she was just singing and talking to us.
Of course, no photos during the performance but these were her guitars lined up ready
and, yes, she was that close to where we sat!

She even gave us all a slide show of pics of her since the 70s which were amazing, and talked us through her musical life - getting special applause for her meetings with Nelson Mandela, who used to listen to her music while in prison.

She showed a shot of the type-written programme from Bob Dylan's Picnic at Blackbushe Airport in 1978, where we first saw Joan perform, below blue skies with pink balloons overhead, brought back some memories - here are some (forever faded!) snaps from my scrapbook, with my original £6 ticket:
 again, we weren't far from the front
 and the crowd stretched way back

Ahhh, happy memories . . .

Anyway, this Friday, Joan played all the old favourites and a sprinkling of new blues material which was incredible.  Just her, solo on the stage - piano and guitars - and that powerful voice as good as ever.

I savoured every note of my favourite - "The Weakness In Me" - take a listen
and we filed out into the night - moon high in the sky -
and drove right up the length of the Mersey - had the dock road all to ourselves  - heads still buzzing with the final song - Willow - lovely clip here from a rehearsal studio:
and if you're wanting more - try Rosie - she sang it with as much vigour and enjoyment as she always has:
Oh I could go on and on - just an incredible and amazing concert - such a maestro.  Singer, song-writer, guitarist, pianist and altogther a lovely warm person with the best smile I've ever seen.  Total privilege to have been there.