An Evening With Joan Armatrading, Hull
Joan Armatrading Performing In The 1980s
A Theatre Visit
Monday evening we paid a visit to our renovated and revamped local theatre to spend an evening listening to singer songwriter Joan Armatrading.
We booked our tickets almost a year ago and therefore had seats in a prime position.
We were a couple of rows from the front and slap bang in the middle of the row with a perfect view of Ms Armatrading as she worked the audience.
The only time my view was slightly restricted was when Joan ditched her guitar for keyboards.
Who Is Joan Armatrading?
We realized this week that some people have no idea who Armatrading is.
More than once person said “I have no idea who she is” when told of our upcoming theatre visit. Surprisingly it was people in our age group.
So for the record this is Joan Armatrading
Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, MBE, was born on the Caribbean Island of Saint Kitts on December 9, 1950.
Joan’s parents and siblings moved to Birmingham in the U.K. when Joan was three-years-old.
Initially Joan was sent to live with her grandmother on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
When Joan was seven-years-old the family was reunited and she joined her parents and siblings in Birmingham, England.
You may have read recently about some of the so-called
From her mid-teens Joan was writing songs and performing. By the middle of the 1970s Joan had chart success. For many readers “Love and Affection” will be her most memorable hit from that period.
Currently Joan is on a tour of the U.K. promoting her new album “Not Too Far Away.”
Ms Armatrading married Maggie Butler in 2011 and according to my husband Maggie was on the front row Monday as Joan performed for an enthusiastic audience in Kingston-upon-Hull.
Our Evening With Joan Armatrading
We have never watched Joan perform live previously. One big surprise was her humour as she performed as both the main attraction and support act.
Joan sidled onto the stage to rapturous applause and explained that she would be the first half support act, performing each track from her new album in playing order.
This involved some funny and sassy introductions from Joan.
She switched between two guitars regularly but when she moved over to the keyboards it was special
She comically explained that usually the audience would cheer when she took to the keyboard, and so cheer we did. The second time she moved to the keyboard the audience cheered and she quipped “how lovely and how unexpected.”
For her final tinkle of the ivories she remarked “I must say that’s a lovely tradition you have of cheering when I take to the keyboard.”
Yep there was laughter, fun, great music and applause.
After a 15 minute or so interval Armatrading was back on stage. She had undertaken a slight costume change and performed some of her finest early recordings.
If you get the chance go and see Ms Armatrading perform live.
For a woman who will be 68 in December her voice is remarkably fresh and strong. The extensive tour must be tiring but Joan looked and sounded on the money.
We paid £53 for our two tickets but that included a small booking fee and we did have seats in a great position.
The Venue - New Theatre, Kingston-upon-Hull
It was our first visit to New Theatre since it underwent expensive and extensive renovations.
We have the changes a mixed rating.
Toilet facilities and the bar area are much improves.
However the seats in the auditorium are are long rows with no centre aisle. This led to congestion as the audience tried to leave the theatre and made me wonder what would happen in the event of a fire or similar event.
She Has Still Got It
Before Ms Armatrading came on stage the audience were asked not to take photos and or footage and also to turn off any mobile or cells phones. This request was on behalf of Joan.
Like the majority in the audience we respected Joan’s request but one or two people did not.
Consequently I have some great memories of the evening but no images.
© 2018 Ethel Smith