23rd March 2015
This was Armatrading's 116th gig (or was it the 117th!) of her last world
tour, which proved acceptable on the ears but lacking any real spark of
That was confined to the back row of the hall where an inebriated guy,
who had been constantly yelling praise at the singer throughout, was manhandled
from his seat by three security staff, forcing myself and my companion
to vacate our places to enable him to be ejected from the venue.
I did not expect this to happen at the the home of classical music in
Armatrading sang 19 of her songs, three of them on an electric piano,
with the use of three electric guitars to perform the rest of her set.
Unfortunately she did not use an acoustic guitar, which would have given
more light and shade to her act.
With no backing musicians on stage a pre-recorded string section was
used on All Away To America and pre-recorded sax on probably her best
known track, Love And Affection. I found the use of taped music a bit
An impressive film backdrop was used , helping to illustrate each song
with appropriate imagery
Despite the extensive tour schedule her vocal delivery was strong, phrasing
her lyrics with gusto.
Midway through her set she spent several minutes talking about various
photographs featuring her and other celebrities, the most notable being
one with Nelson Mandela. The most cringeworthy was one featuring Armatrading
showing off her MBE. My. my, I was impressed!!
She has always been noted to have a wry sense of humour, and her gig
at the Phil was no exception, having a good rapport and banter with the
Liverpool audience minus one!