Joan As Police Woman - Manchester Gorilla

To the average man or woman in the street, Joan Wasser (AKA Joan as Police Woman) might be best known as ‘the woman who was dating Jeff Buckley when he died.’ For those in the know however, she is a powerful artistic force, blessed with emotive vocals, clever lyrical turns and a surfeit of instrumental talent.

Wasser sashays on the Gorilla stage in a bright red jumpsuit (handmade - is there no end to her talents?). Backed by an all-male band, Joan is every part the dominant front woman. She immediately takes centre stage as they play through tracks from her most recent album, The Classic. New single ‘Holy City’ gets the crowd dancing early on and lifts the Thursday night atmosphere. It’s clear that Wasser is absorbed in the music, frequently rocking out to long instrumentals. These little moments show the real passion in her performance, shredding her guitar or frantically hammering at her keyboard. At one point she plays so hard that she breaks a string and has to call upon the audience to help replace it. Undeterred, she simply switches to violin for a few songs.

As the evening winds down and they return for an encore, Joan and her three band mates line up at the front of the stage for an a cappella rendition of the title track to her new album. The beautiful harmonies make for an incredible climax. C.L.A.S.S.I.C.? You bet.

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