Joanne Shaw Taylor at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Showcasing a sultry, magnificent voice and jaw-dropping brilliance on guitar, Joanne Shaw Taylor delivered an extraordinary performance at Shepherds Bush Empire last night. With instrumental mastery and natural raw talent that challenges the best legends of rock and blues, this lady is on her way to becoming a legend herself.
A cheering crowd welcomed Taylor and her band and the show erupted with the fast-paced country blues-style Dyin’ to Know, followed by the classic rock-sounding Nothing to Lose, highlighting the singer’s vivacious, raspy voice. Song No Reason to Stay had a strong beat and a vocal style reminding one of Bonnie Raitt, as did the mellow, soulful Tried, Tested & True. Watch ‘Em Burn, a fabulous driving bluesy-rock melody, had a terrific guitar solo performed by Taylor. The extraordinary, mostly instrumental Time Has Come showed off the finest of this artist’s talent and concertgoers were awed by her incredible guitar licks – she completely ruled the blues with this piece. Wanna Be My Lover was exhilarating and sassy with lively energy and vocal ebullience, as was the seductive Ready to Roll. Dedicated to David Bowie, Wild Is the Wind was a lovely, gentle, passionate ballad. As the encore, another very bluesy, sensual number with impressive playing by the songwriter and some of her best singing, Going Home concluded the programme, eliciting massive applause and cheers.
With a blues-rock sound, Taylor’s music also contains variations including shades of jazz, country, metal and classic rock – even hints of Led Zeppelin and Hendrix. She changed guitars quite frequently during the concert, exhibiting her versatility. At times, the British musician made her instrument scream, at others it gently and voluptuously sang. Accompanied by outstanding artists, a drummer and alternately two base players or a bassist and keyboardist, Taylor had a superb team and they were obviously having fun. The set was dynamic and compelling, without overdone effects.
A relaxed confident performer, Taylor is authentic and natural on stage, and engaged in easy conversation with last night’s audience: “We’ve released… Wild… already in the top 20 albums, which works well for me because no one knows who the hell I am”.
Is Joanne Shaw Taylor the female Jimi Hendrix? Possibly, but with her own unique style she’ll be a trailblazer in her own right. Delivering a remarkable, soulful, mind-blowing performance, it won’t be long before everyone knows who she is.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information about Joanne Shaw Taylor and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Watch ‘Em Burn here: