Court and Spark – The Joni Mitchell Songbook

Court and Spark - The Joni Mitchell Songbook

Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
26th April 2019

Reviewed by Darren Guy

‘Sounded better than Joni Mitchell’

Court and Spark is a band named after Joni Mitchell’s sixth and most successful album and her first venture away from her soulful folky type music

Set in the lovely, intimate Capstone Theatre with a projector back drop of Joni images, intermingled with skies, roads, rain, Court and Spark are a must see for any Joni Mitchell fans.

Fronted by the perfectly tuned voice of Jade Thunder, and musically tight Court and Spark band, the show started with some of Joni’s most beautiful songs from her first five albums.

Morning Morgan Town, This Flight Tonight. Chelsea Morning, and an incredibly moving version of ‘Little Green’, taking the largely over 60s audiences straight back to the memories of love, hazy summers of late 60s and the early 70s.

Thunder carries the emotional impact, pitch and vocals beautifully, in fact I would argue delivering the songs even better than Mitchell and what’s more adding a touch of her own uniqueness without loosing any of Joni’s impact. Court and Spark are much more than a Joni Mitchell tribute band.

The performance is broken up in two parts, the first 40 minutes or so sailed by, one can get lost in the hypnotism of the images and songs.

I’m not a fan of Mitchell’s jazzy period, so this could just be my personal take. But the second half was mostly taken up with this. The band was tight, and Thunder was entertaining, intermingling stories of Joni’s life, but With the exception of a beautiful version of Amelia, and Thunder’s own acoustic version of Both Sides Now, the rest were lost to me. I was hoping somewhere in there she would revert back to Joni’s early work, and I was waiting for ‘a case of you’ my favourite Mitchell song.

But that shouldn’t take anything away from the fact that the performance was tight, Thunder’s vocals were excellent, crisp and delivered with a passion that sounded like it was coming straight from the heart of Joni.

If you love Joni Mitchell go and see them. If you don’t still a good band.

More info: Court and Spark – The Joni Mitchell Songbook

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