This show is one of those rare nights where the venue, the artist, their band and the crowd all come together to create that buzz so often missing from arena or stadium gigs. The Lemon Tree Lounge is packed and there is a tangible air of anticipation for Joanne Shaw Taylor. And what treats are hurled out for us to savour. A perfect storm of peerless lyrical guitars and a voice so arresting you may want to jump on a motorbike and chase down the roots of the blues first thing tomorrow. The set-list is a tasty blend of energetic Saturday night tracks and languorous Sunday morning vibes, perfect for sharing – possibly even better enjoyed alone. Joanne’s band never puts a foot wrong. Her strident, sinuous solos roam free taking you far beyond album tracks but are never self-indulgent. Just exquisite.
And that voice. Unhindered by backing singers, who feature on the album Wild, songs are freed from their soulful feel. All to the good. These are Joanne’s songs, her emotions, belted out in a raw, mesmerising way before the flawless guitars kick in. New life, something close to anger, is breathed into the standard Summertime leaving questions hanging in the air long after.
It is true that Joanne could attract and satisfy crowds in far larger venues. Certainly a long list of tour dates in the UK and Europe extend into 2017. While wholeheartedly agreeing with this, it is a special treat to enjoy what might be one of Joanne Shaw Taylor’s last intimate gigs. Grab the chance to experience her magic now.