Me, myself, I
Joan Armatrading is heading to Adelaide on her final major tour – playing solo with just a guitar, piano and her unique, powerhouse voice
JOAN Armatrading knows all about staying power. Armatrading, born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts and raised in England, launched her recording career with Whatever’s For Us in 1972. Forty years on, she’s still powering on and about to set off on one of the most demanding tours of her life. She will be playing solo, just one woman, her guitar and piano and, of course, a songbook stuffed with favourites from across 20 albums.
Even though she will be 65 by the time the tour wraps up, she should be in great shape for it. She ran her first marathon in 2008.
“My tours are always long, they go on for a year or 18 months,” Armatrading says. “For me, six months is a short tour.”
She is definite that this will be what she calls her last major tour, although there will be more recordings and less-arduous tours in the future.
“I’ll do shorter things, but I’ll never retire. I’ve never done a world tour on my own, so that’s a first. And I haven’t played the piano on stage for years, probably not since 1976.
“Some of these songs I’ve sung on stage with a band but not played (with an instrument), so there is a lot to it. It’s a little nerve-racking to think that if I forget a word I can’t look at the keyboard player hoping