Joanne Shaw Taylor
Friday 13th March 2020
Nell's, West Kensington, London
It’s Friday the 13th- well I guess it’s alright? Well only just - the virus is hitting hard for gig cancellation lists, but this does go ahead. The first of two nights At Nell’s Jazz and Blues Club in London’s West Kensington on Joanne’s ‘Reckless Heart’ tour. Opening proceedings is Nashville’s Sonia Leigh with an acoustic set, closing with the amusing ‘Booty Call’ for her fan club surrounding her area stage right.
Joanne a former Black Country gal relocated to Detroit, USA, a few years back, so it’s no surprise that there is a change in band personnel and a hint of an American accent breaking through. Joining on drums -Stephanie Williams, on bass - Steve Leigh Haleymartin and Dutchman/former King King keyboard man - Bob Fridzema.
The seventeen song set includes all eleven songs from ‘Reckless Heart’, although not in album order, starting with ‘In the Mood’ with it’s early Whitesnake tinged riffery, through to ‘I’m Only Lonely’, while the album’s rocker ‘Bad Love’ dropped in at four. The girl plays some mean guitar and has definitely been studying at the Gary Moore guitar school. Her set continues apace with the radio friendly numbers from 2016’s album ‘Wild’ with ‘No Reason To Stay’ and ‘Dying to Know’ plus ‘Diamonds in the Dirt’ from the 2010 album of the same name along with the encore of ‘Mud Honey’ off 2014’s ‘The Dirty Truth’ long player.
Despite some early issues with the sound, the band rocked on professionally, even though the audience wasn’t too concerned and duly showed their appreciation. Instead of two nights here, I would like to see the band maybe do one night in a more traditional Rock venue. Unfortunately, following the Saturday show, the rest of the tour has been cancelled, to allow JST to return to the US, now a travel ban has been imposed. Thankfully, she’ll be back!