Joan’s last hurrah hits all the right notes

Joan Armatrading live at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on November 23 SUS-141124-114850001
Joan Armatrading live at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on November 23 SUS-141124-114850001

“I am not in love, but I’m open to persuasion....”

It’s the opening line of one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

And on Sunday night (November 24) hundreds of Joan Armatrading fans had the joy of listening to her sing those very words for possibly the last time.

Now almost 64, Joan was bizarrely on her first solo tour which was also to be her last major world tour though thankfully she has vowed never to retire.

The epic tour started back in September in York and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 3 via Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Joan played a track from each of her albums which cover a glittering 40 year career.

It was a very personal performance as she broke from singing to engage the audience in conversation and show a lovely slide show of pictures during her career. This included shots of her with Paul McCartney, Nelson Mandela and Tina Turner. But the image which drew the biggest smile was Joan proudly showing off her appearance in the Beano comic strip Tom, Dick and Sally back in 1983.

Using either a guitar or piano, she belted out classic tracks Down To Zero, Rosie, Me, Myself and I and Drop The Pilot playing with the same passion and purpose as her early years. Other very impressive tracks included Empty Highway from her recent Into The Blues album. But it was 1976’s timeless Love and Affection which received the warmest applause from a highly appreciative audience.