Brothers Abroad brand

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Joss Stone @ Ronnie Scott’s


I like Joss Stone’s ‘‘Soul Sessions’’ like I like warm apple pie…a la mode. The basic recipe (composition?) is traditional and wholesome - there’s healthy fruit involved and the ice cream topping is vanilla sweet…and quite cool until it gets properly mixed with the hot stuff. 


I hadn’t been to a showcase at Ronnie Scott’s for ages - echoes of the heady days of the late 80s when CBS Records in Soho Square up the road was cranking out the hits by artists who often made introductory offerings at this shrine to jazz. Once again, there was a giddy sense of excitement in air.


I managed to grab two seats at the second row of tables and when Joss ambled onto the stage, I felt indecently close to her exposed mid-riff. She was young, blonde, slim and oozing…well, oozing ungainly pubescence actually. I like to think that my own psychological discomfort was aggravated by the coterie of very mature EMI cheeses seated at the prime table on the ‘Royal Circle’ tier behind me - they and most others (of both sexes) appeared to be blinded by Joss’s youthful radiance.


I usually like to pick the politics out of my music (like the raisins in my muesli), but on this occasion, I couldn’t help wondering how many older, darker, broader females could have been singing the same songs with as much vocal skill, greater authenticity and arguably, more of what some people like to call ‘soul’...And then I noticed her backing vocalists!! You guessed it: older, broader, darker…

[Note: Curiously, her bassist was not the ubiquitous, super-cool dude with a hat, but a high-energy stray from an early 80s electro-punk band in a ‘‘wife-beater’’ T-shirt with worryingly bulging arteries!]


Much has been said and written about Joss’s inventive version of a White Stripes song (’‘Fell In Love With a Boy’’ ), but personally, I was happy with the obvious - her heart-rending delivery of the Isleys’ ‘‘For the Love of You’‘. No question about it - the girl can really sing - and I look forward to hearing more of her new, arguably more appropriate material, my appetite having been deliciously whetted by her beautiful co-write with Connor Reeves and Jonathan Shorten - ‘‘Jetlag’‘. For me, that was when the songbird really landed…or took off!




Posted by Dej on 25 Nov around 1pm

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