On a seemingly unsuspecting Tuesday evening my eyes were opened to the joy that is Joan As Police Woman. I arrived not really knowing what to expect. Perhaps a little bluesy, grungy low key affair. I was wrong. Joan graced the stage wearing a black leather, backless, shoulder padded cat suit reminiscent of a new age Debbie Harry. The Oxford o2 was Joan’s first gig in the UK, and the nerves were soon put at ease as a mixed crowed of all ages was seemingly spellbound from the start.
The music itself was a smorgasbord of genres from funk to slow, singer-songwriter type stuff to crescendoed rock and roll. The driving force being synthesised keys and Lenny Kravitz style organ. Joan was accompanied by Parker Kindred on drums (former drummer for Jeff Buckley) and Tyler Wood on keyboard and synth bass. The guys also imparted interesting harmonies and backing vocals.
As a band, they worked extremely well together and clearly have a lot of fun performing, which for is perhaps the most important factor in any live show. Joan was extremely funny and engaging between songs and seemingly enjoyed the evening as much as I did. Her relationship with Jeff Buckley has clearly been an influence in her writing but she has managed to develop her own style and generated a huge following.
I really enjoyed the gig and would jump at the chance to see her again. After a shaky start to the European tour (most of the band being stuck in New York because of mega snow) she is off to a cracking start here in the UK and I wish her the best of luck with the rest of her tour.
Photography by Tomasz Ras