Love and affection for Joan
By Martin Hutchinson
AFTER 42 years of touring, Joan Armatrading is undertaking her first solo world tour, and it’ll be her last major tour.
“I’ve always toured with a band before, but as this will be the last major tour that I’ll be doing, I’ve decided to do it on my own.”
It will be a chance for her to pay the songs as they were composed.
“That’s right; I wrote and arrange all my songs and I hear them in my head, so performing them this way – totally solo – will be a great memory for me.”
Originally from St Kitts, where she was born 64 years ago, her parents moved to Birmingham when she was six. She arrived on the UK music scene with her debut album in 1972 and since then, her career has encompassed many genres from pop to blues to jazz and beyond.
Following hit singles with Love and Affection, Me Myself I and Drop The Pilot to name but three, Joan also sang the theme to the film The Wild Geese which starred Richard Burton and Roger Moore, as well as recording the albums Show Some Emotion and Walk Under Ladders.
Three Grammy Award nominations came her way, as well as an Ivor Novello award and an MBE. So there is no doubt she is multi-talented, both in the song-writing and performing stakes.
For the tour, Joan promises a journey through her whole career and she’ll be playing no favourites as she hasn’t worked out a set-list.
“I like all my songs, that’s why I do as many as I can. It won’t be just my jazz and blues numbers either. I’ll also do my pop and rock songs. It actually feels good having to think about what I’m doing.
“It’ll just be me with my acoustic and electric guitar as well as a piano.”
Over 40 years of music, Joan feels that not one thing in particular has influenced her.
“Everything influences all of us,” she said.
“I don’t listen to things to do something like it, and I don’t copy artists I like.
“Other people’s music can inspire and it makes you want to be better, but not exactly copy them.”
She does have a special place in her heart for one song however.
“Yes, A Kissing And A Hugging used to be my favourite: I sang it all the time. It’s a jazzy song and very rhythmic and one of those songs that you can sing 10 times in a row and everyone would be different.”
For the UK tour, she is keen to reach everyone.
“What I’m trying to do is sing something from every album, and because it’s my last major tour, in these autumn dates are places I’ve never been to before. And I purposely decided, ‘cos I’m on my own, to do the smaller
venues to try and create a nice little memory.
Joan Armatrading is touring the UK from September 22 to November 25.
Tickets are available from the Box Offices and all the usual agencies.