Joan Wasser walks onstage in the renowned London music theatre
wearing plum coloured flared trousers and a matching shirt.
Equipped with a keyboard, a guitar and an extraordinary voice the
41-year-old behind Joan As Police Woman serves up an ethereal
evening filled with music and emotions in equally potent measures,
ensnaring her audience in a web of pure magic.
Tingles spread across my body as she performs new songs mixed with
classics from the band's five-year-long career. Her lyrics
continuously hit home, sometimes without me having even heard them
before, and every word, note, smile and tear is heartfelt; it's
been a while since I've seen someone put their feelings on display
as elegantly as this.
Looking around the audience seated in the theatre there is not
only a great amount of lesbian couples cuddling up but there are
many who come alone to listen to Joan on this Friday night. In
front of me sits a girl in her 20s, two seats away from her a man
in his 70s, and unaware of it they are both fixed in the same
position. Just like me they are leaning forward and resting their
heads on their palms, drawn into the magic that surrounds the woman
in plum on stage.
Last time Joan As Police Woman played London her audience was so
busy having a good time amongst themselves that their scant
attention left her in tears. But tonight everyone is listening. And
how could we not be?
The near packed arena sways in unison as Joan plays funky "The
Magic" from latest album "The Deep Field" and she jerks her
shoulder back in forth in her characteristic manner whilst she
perfects a key change already from start.
Moments later the haunting "Forever And A Year" near moves me to
tears; the emotional spectrum is wide this evening and I am not the
only one shuffling closer to the person next to me during "Flash"
and "To Be Loved".
Emotions are running high both off and on stage and it is clear
that this is an important show for Joan with many of her
collaborators in the crowd in front of her. When she goes to thank
her two fellow musicians on stage, she crouches down and cries with
"You break my heart," she says.
Newest single "Chemmie" (scroll down for the video) deals
with the irrationality of chemistry between people and whilst I am
unsure what to make of the comment that she "likes fur in general"
in reference to her werewolf video, it is clear that the high
percentage of queers sitting in the crowd appreciates her small
talk. And it is not just the hot venue that makes Joan blush during
these charismatic and often funny chats; her spectators love her
and aren't afraid to say so.
After a beautiful, exciting, heartfelt and rocking evening Joan
bows in front of standing ovations and she finishes with wishing us
all a wonderful life. Overwhelmed by the experience I leave, still
with tingles all over.