Sunday 20 July 2014 @ The Half Moon - Putney, London:
Gina Foster’s latest musical project, “Joni’s Soul” played its first gig as a band this evening. I first heard Gina sing a Joni Mitchell song about 9 months ago with “The Band of Sisters” at The Pheasantry - the best performance of the evening for me! When I heard about her new project, I just had to be at the first gig!
The evening did not start out too promisingly - I was caught in a complete deluge of rain just as I was getting my car ready to set off. Then, when I got to Putney Bridge, running a bit late at 9.15PM for the gig which kicked off at 8.30PM, the bridge was closed! The detour took another 20 minutes or so, which meant that I only caught the last song in the first set - but this did not disappoint!
The first thing that hit me was the sheer quality of the music and the musicians on the stage. Of course, with repertoire drawn from Joni Mitchell’s classic albums such as “Blue”, “Court and Spark”, “Hejira”, and “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”, the standard of the songs could not have been higher!
Joni’s Soul’s stated aim is “to look beyond mere faithful reproduction of Joni Mitchell’s songs to shine a light on the most soulful aspects of Joni’s words and music”. Gina Foster led the way in this quest, with guest singers Manuela Panizzo and Mim Grey each stepping up to take the microphone from Gina to add their unique tonal palettes and vocal phrasings to particular songs.
Unfortunately, I missed Manuela’s performances, but I did hear Mim Grey sing a couple - with a very confident, soothing, reassuring vocal style that really suited the songs she sang. I should mention that all three featured vocalists have extensive professional credits - Gina Foster with Eric Clapton and Sinead O’Connor, Manuela Panizzo with Carleen Anderson and Mario Biondi, and Mim Grey with Paul McCartney and Dave Stewart - and their professionalism definitely shone through this evening.
Similarly, the band all had interesting musical ‘pedigrees’ as well - Ronnie Johnson has played guitar for Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, James Hallawell has played keyboards for The Waterboys and Graham Parker,Pat Clahar has played sax for Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross, John McKenzie has played bass for David Bowie and Everything But The Girl, and Richard Bailey plays drums with Steve Winwood and Incognito!
In the second set, I got a very pleasant surprise when vocalist Carol Kenyon, known for her work with Heaven 17 and Morrissey-Mullen among many others, appeared ‘out of nowhere’! Carol sang two songs, “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” with the band, and a beautiful ballad, “Don’t Go To Strangers” accompanied solely on keyboards by James Hallawell.
I thought that nothing else could top Carol’s stunning performance, but Gina Foster came back on stage and sang her utterly gorgeous version of “Both Sides Now” which was the highlight of the evening for me!
Nice one, Gina!
© 2014 Mike Collins
Here is one reason why witnesses are only correct 50% of the time:
If you let your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, the dots will remain just one colour, pink.
However, if you stare at the black ‘+’ in the centre, the moving do turns to green.
When this happens, concentrate on the black ‘+’ in the centre of the picture. After a short period, all the pink dots will slowly disappear - as though someone is rubbing them out - and you will only see a single green dot rotating!
This is an illusion created by your brain! There is no green dot, and the pink ones don’t disappear! It just seems that way to people whose brains are working normally!
This all goes to show that we don’t always see what we think we see!