Joan As Policewoman’s appearance at the Button Factory has been anticipated every bit as much as the release of her latest album, The Deep Field. Before Ms. Wasser takes to the stage, though, the audience are treated to a performance from Irish chanteuse Julie Feeney. She does her best to move what seems to be an immovable crowd with a dulcet combination of lilting vocals, big brassy sounds and tonnes of energy. Simple and effective. A lesson in happy clapping is dished out during ‘One More Tune’, but it’s signature song ‘Impossibly Beautiful’ that ends her slot on a high note.
Walking on stage with her trademark heavy fringe and clad in a Susie Quattro-esque black leather jumpsuit, Joan Wasser quite literally leaves some spectators with their jaws on the floor. She then launches straight into a blistering set showcasing her sultry, soulful and shouty vocal capabilities, Tyler Wood’ funk-riddled synth sounds and unrelenting beats from drummer Parker Kindred. The show takes a decidedly different direction to the sombre tone of performances in the last year, with Wasser slinking effortlessly from keyboard to guitar with mighty prowess and poise. ‘The Action Man’ gets the ball rolling, as fans squeeze their way through the crowd to secure a prime spot, and is followed by a fabulously bewitching version of ‘The Magic’. The Deep Field is plundered on numerous occasions, bringing forth an exquisite eight minute performance of ‘Flash’ – a sultry and haunting highlight.
A goose-bump-inducing solo rendition of ‘Forever and a Year’ is so powerful that even the loudmouth drunk guy at the back is moved to awe-inspired silence – so compelling is Wasser’s voice. ‘Chemmie’ is an uplifting cacophony, running high on energy amid frenzied guitar sounds and stunning vocal range, while a jump back to old favorites ‘Save Me’ and ‘Eternal Flame’ demonstrate that, although JAP is constantly evolving, the past is still a prevailing part of the performance.
Amidst some Joycean banter; Joan triumphantly informs the audience that she has finished reading Ulysses. It’s no surprise then that she intersperses songs with stories of her day in Dublin in true Bloom fashion, much to the delight and entertainment of the fans. She brings the curtain down on her set with an encore featuring the boisterous ‘Say Yes’ – a song “written in the voice of female affirmation” and based, suitably enough, on Molly Bloom’s last soliloquy in Joyce’s epic tome. Blooming marvelous.
[nggallery id=368 template=carousel]