Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Not quite NYPD

Last night Joan as Police Woman opened London's newest music venue, The Front Room, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank with a one-off solo show. NYC-based, Joan Wasser, has been known as many things: ex partner of Jeff Buckley; backing singer, violinist, pianist, and guitarist for the likes of Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Antony and the Johnsons, the Scissor Sisters and Sheryl Crow, as well as sidekick for Rufus Wainwright's last tour.

Smokey voiced and quirky (her, not me for once) I spent most of the evening distracted with wondering if she sounds any different in the throes of passion than on stage. And that is not because I am one of Joan's multitudes of thronging hipster lesbian fans. But, rather because her inter-song banter is distractingly laden with OTT sultriness replete with contrived fits of self-conscious horsy giggles. But when you are not wondering if she is not just Beth Orton down a sex line, her singer-songwriter material is powerful and original. A lot of her sensual howlings decorate songs in a manner reminiscent of subdued Antony and the Johnsons crossed with clamorous Nina Simone. Arresting stuff from the police woman.

Disappointingly, the venue was less impressive. The Front Room is basically just that: a front for a real room. The stage is set up in makeshift fashion in the foyer of the QEH: part coat check, part concert hall. Like the National Theatre's large, outdoor, informal summer stage; but small, indoors and quite winter season formal. A near replica (if not splitting hairs).

Check out Joan on MySpace here or take the plunge and buy her soulful new CD, 'Real Life', here.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Ella said...

Her myspace paeg is great. I like her sounds but lyrics fall flat sometimes. Must be better to hear her live no doubt. This enw album has received good reviews. Will check out tunes later. Thanks for reminder.

5:51 pm  
Anonymous Tanya said...

Sounds great. Thanks for MySpace link. Will listen up

6:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She was with Buckley when he drowned. Tragic.

6:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She used to be in the Dambuilders and Black Beetles. Glad to see she is starting off on her own two feet again.

6:12 pm  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

indeed they are creative but just crap
loved the MySpace site but her album is cheaper on Amazon
Hate me already

12:58 am  
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Anonymous dawnbysea said...

Enough spam :-(

Loved the album. Downloaded last night. Needed some chilled out background music while in editing room. The song Ride is brilliant

9:41 am  
Blogger ADT said...

The good thing about JAPW is that unlike a lot of 'next big thing's she's had the time to develop and evolve gradually. She's racked up an impressive range and variety of musical experience, and rather than explode and burn out, she's gradually smouldering, and is going to get better and better.

12:18 pm  

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