Joanne Shaw Taylor - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2011 #2

Diamonds In The Dirt Tour
November 16 (20:50-22:25)
Capacity 800
Photos

The dates for this second UK run of the year were already booked and published before the first run even took place in May, with tickets going on sale as that tour unfolded in the hope that fans would eagerly want a return visit so soon. In the case of London, even the venue was the same.

In actual fact the gathered crowd at the Islington Academy this time was more or less the same size as last time, and with no new material released in between tours, the same support band (P-A-U-L), and just six months passed, that's probably not all that surprising. Most of those gathered were likely longer term fans who show up for every London show, regardless. The outstanding Marcus Bonfanti playing just upstairs probably stole a few potential ticket buyers as well.

Joanne is also not known for changing her setlist particularly often, therefore the reappearance of tracks like Going Home, Watch 'em Burn, Dead And Gone, Kiss The Ground Goodbye, Time Has Come, Diamonds In The Dirt and Blackest Day, albeit in a different order, didn't leave much room for returning fans to see something different. Even the covers of Jimi Hendrix, The Hoax and Freddie King were the same. In fact, having pulled out rare non-album tracks Black Country Soul and Shiver Inside last time, this set was arguably less interesting than the one in May.

But the performance itself eclipsed it. The thing that was most clear about Joanne on stage this time compared to just six months ago was how much more confident and assured she was. She's never been a timid performer, but at the same time the freeflowing fluency of a fully confident player wasn't always evident either. This time is most certainly was. Over-confident bassist Paul Lamb (namesake, vocalist and guitarist of P-A-U-L, which also features Joanne's current drummer Layla Hall) was firmly consigned to the background as Joanne asserted herself much more strongly than before. In many cases it was like seeing certain songs being played for the first time.

The last step for Joanne now is to change the setlist more often. There are only so many times people will keep coming back if they think they're always going to be seeing the same songs as the last three times. Fix that, and she'll be the complete article.

“ much more confident and assured ”

Setlist: Going Home / Jump That Train / Just Another Word / Watch 'em Burn / Diamonds In The Dirt / Dead And Gone / Manic Depression / Kiss The Ground Goodbye / Time Has Come / Bones / Blackest Day / Goin' Down > Drums > Goin' Down // Can't Keep Living Like This

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Blues, Gigs,

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