Joanne Shaw Taylor - Salisbury City Hall
Salisbury City Hall is a fairly small venue, but seems to attract some great acts and never fails to produce a great sound, regardless of the act. As with any all-seated gig, atmosphere was slightly lacking, although the crowd were vocal throughout and securing a support act as legendary as Bernie Marsden was a master stroke. Bernie warmed the crowd up perfectly with a blend of newer, acoustic tracks, complimented by a few well known Whitesnake numbers, which really the got the (slightly older than I expected) crowd ready for the main event... and what a main event it was!
Joanne came on stage with an air of confidence, likely due to the acclaim that latest album, The Dirty Truth, has received by fans and the industry alike. Recent years have seen her grow into a mature, passionate Blues/Rock musician, her guitar skills complemented perfectly by her unique, gritty vocals, which legendary producer Jim Gaines has really nailed on her latest album.
Starting the gig with lead out single Mud Honey is a great move and the crowd are fully absorbed in a sensational gig from this point onwards. It becomes clear within a few songs that Joanne now has a well rounded back catalogue to draw upon and she does this with real skill, mixing funky guitar licks with exemplary solos, and when the solo kicks in on Joanne's own 'Texas Flood' moment, the phenomenal cover of Frankie Miller's Jealousy, collective hairs on backs of neck stand up
We're only a few songs into the setlist, the sound is fantastic, each and every member of the crowd are lapping up every move Joanne makes and the skilled musicianship just keeps on coming...passion and edge in every song are complimented perfectly by some tender moments during the beautiful new track, Tried, Tested and True, with Joanne showing some real maturity in her songwriting.
Joanne brings Bernie Marsden onstage to play Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues and an awe inspiring version of Let It Burn, including a really fun dual off between the 2 protagonists which Joanne is clearly enjoying, with a 'I cannot believe this is happening' grin on her face throughout...
Joanne then hits even harder as we approach the end of the evening, finishing the main set with the thundering 'Going Home', before performing a really solid encore of the title track from her latest album. A standing ovation greets Joanne as the final chords are strummed and she once again steps up another rung of the ladder that will surely see her reach the pinnacle of Blues/Rock performers in the very near future....
Everyone leaves happy and I just hope Joanne keeps playing smaller, intimate venues, which bring out the best in her music and make a lot of people really happy.
Just Another Word
Watch 'em Burn
(Frankie Miller cover)
Jump That Train
Diamonds In The Dirt
Tried, Tested & True
Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
(with Bernie Marsden)
Let It Burn
(with Bernie Marsden)
Tied & Bound
The Dirty Truth
Photography: Al Stewart
Review: Ian Clark