Joan Armatrading - vocals, acoustic guitar; Brian Garfalo - bass; Quitman Dennis - lyricon; David Kemper - drums; Jerry Donahue - electric guitar; Red Young - keyboards
Over thirty years after this show was captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, the music of singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading still stands the test of time. This was the dawn of her career when, after becoming a press darling in her native U.K. in 1976, she embarked on a campaign to break out in the states. This recording marks her return to London, after Armatrading had finished her first U.S. tour and done extensive promotion for her current LP on A&M Records.
It is clear from these tracks that she is home and happy to be there. She performs with incredible emotion and zest, especially on the up-tempo tracks "Help Yourself," "Show Some Emotion," and "Love and Affection," which were among the biggest tracks for her outside of the U.K. Other songs in this set, performed with her band of excellent musicians, include "Cool Blue Stole My Heart" and the coy number "Kissin' and Huggin'."
Joan Armatrading would never break through to big audiences outside of the U.K., but she built enough of a core audience to allow her to tour worldwide for more than two decades after this show was recorded. Of course, in England Armatrading remained a big star, and still performs regularly today, often playing sold out U.K. tours and large summer music festivals.