Joan Armatrading plays the INEC for one night only


TRIPLE Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and guitarist Joan Armatrading has done it all.

Over 40 years in the music industry, the Birmingham based star has recorded almost 20 albums - six have gone gold - and has played with the likes of music legends Mark Knoffler, Tony Levin, Pino Palladino and Richie Heyward.

On Tuesday, September 25, she returns to Killarney's INEC for one night only and promises a wide range, including classics such as 'Love And Affection', ' The Weakness In Me', 'Drop The Pilot' and 'Down To Zero'.

"There'll be songs from different CDs throughout the years, a mix of old and new," Armatrading told The Kerryman this week.

"The new songs have been received really well too, so I'm looking forward to playing them," she adds.An Ivor Novello Award recipient, Armatrading released the third part of a loose trilogy earlier this year. In 2007 it was blues album 'Into The Blues', 2010 saw rock/pop album ' This Charming Life' and earlier this year it was the jazz influenced 'Starlight'.

A collection of 10 new compositions, 'Starlight' mixes her love of jazz with her prowess as a singer, guitarist and songwriter, producing an album that is both commercial yet contemporary.

"I really enjoyed doing the different styles but they'll be everything on the night. I'll not pigeon hole it, it's just Joan Armatrading music," she explains.

With hundreds of songs penned from scratch and instrumentals arranged to boot - Armatrading is widely recognised as one of the world's top guitarists - she says there's no set criteria when it comes to creating songs, many of which have stood the test of time.

"Some songs are very easy to write and some are more difficult," she explains.

"You could write five-in-a row and you don't know why that is but sometimes it's just going from a verse to chorus, whether it's melodic or rhythmic, that can prove a stumbling block."

A big fan of touring, she says the gets little time to write whilst on the move.

"I've lots of ideas on tour but they don't necessarily get written," she reveals.

"There's too much travelling involved to write. As it's just me, whatever needs to be done is done by me, so I've little time for much else. "As a composer, Armatrading says she makes full use of modern day equipment when she's producing and it has certainly worked as ' This Charming Life' reached the top of the download charts in 2010.

"Technology has changed for everyone, from vinyl to CD and download and so on but that's not a complaint. I've always followed technology, whether it was back then with the four track, to the eight, 16 and 24 track or otherwise - its never really been a big learning curve for me"

So does she prefer ' big gigs' or the more intimate halls?

"I like all venues, it's just the thrill of playing live - whether that's in from of 50,000 people or 200 people. Irish audiences are always enthusiastic and it's been the same in Killarney, so it should make for a good night," she adds.

Joan Armatrading and guest plays the INEC on September 25, doors open 8.30pm. Tickets priced €30 are available from and the INEC Box office.