Joan as Policewoman

Sunday, 15 July 2007
So we went to see Joan as Policewoman at the Shepherds bush Empire. And on a week night too. The EMpire is faded and but comforting and we always go up to the first tier so that we can go and sit down, particularly as Joan is not a moshing kind of girl. The first support act, Loney Deer, were from Sweden and were pretty good in a spangly sort of way, the second, whose name I think was Andrew Bird was not so good. He was interesting though, which can be a bit of a curse. He played many instruments and then somehow sampled them all together, layering them one on top of the other. This sounds quite good and it was to start with but it all began to feel a bit like bedroom experimentalism (if you see what I mean) and a tad dull. Then came Joan. She looked fab in a silver jumpsuit type outfit and hair all tousled like Chrissie Hynde but prettier. She was particularly strong on audience banter which gave it a good atmosphere, although there was a little pocket of people chatting at the back which was distracting, but not as distracting as the poeple 'ssshh'ing them. Her voice is superb; strong and with a good range, she sings likes she means it. The only slight negative was that the songs are uneven, and I found this on her album too. Someof them start promisingly and then meander a little or go on too long, although Eternal Flame is a real crowd pleaser. All in all it was pretty good, mainly because of her charisma and voice, but the songs themselves would not send me running to listen to more, which is a shame.

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