A date with Joan Armatrading!

A date with Joan Armatrading!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
I have got exactly one hour 
before we have to catch a train to London.
What?? Another day off, Gray??
Yeah, well, Bank Holiday weekend I is slavin away on telly….
you’ve got to get your R & R where you can!
Really excited to be going up to the Albert Hall
for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Joan Armatrading is picking up a Lifetime Achievements award.
I want to stand up and give her a standing ovation for that one. 

Shall we find out a little more about Joan?
Well the first thing that struck me was that her name is 
Joan Anita Barbara.
That made me smile because 
my oldest and dearest schoolfriend is Anita.
So we both got included!

I love finding out about where people come from, don’t you?

Joan Armatrading was born in 1950 in Basseterre on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts as the third of six children. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a housewife. When she was three years old, her parents moved with their two eldest boys to Birmingham, England, while Joan was sent to live with her grandmother on the Caribbean island of Antigua. In early 1958 at the age of seven, she joined her parents in Brookfields, then a slum district of Birmingham.The area is now mostly demolished and has been absorbed into the district of Handsworth.
Antigua to Brookfields. That must have been a shock.
Her father had played in a band in his youth, later forbidding his children from touching his guitar. At about the age of 14, Armatrading began writing songs by setting her own limericks to music on a piano that her mother had purchased as “a piece of furniture”. Shortly thereafter, her mother bought her a £3 guitar from a pawn shop in exchange for two prams, and the younger Armatrading began teaching herself the instrument.
She left school at the age of 15 to support her family, and her first job was at Rabone Chesterman, an engineering tool manufacturer in Hockley, Birmingham. She lost the job after taking her guitar to work and playing it during tea-breaks.

So how do you get from those humble beginnings to one of the most revered songwriters ever? And an MBE. An MBE !!!
Three times she has been nominated for a Grammy. Twice she has been nominated for Brit Awards best Female Artist.

Over the last 40 years she has released 18 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.

When I was a teenager, I would listen to her tirelessly.
I soaked up her lyrics like a sponge.
Knew every song, every pause, every breathe.
So I feel very excited and privileged to be present at the Royal Albert Hall this evening,
when she gets the recognition she so deserves. 

I bet if we interviewed her, she would say it hasn’t been an easy road though. 
I think she got to this point because of dogged, unswerving dedication.

I think getting anywhere as a woman was hard in the seventies.
Getting anywhere as a poor woman was harder
and getting anywhere as a poor black woman was definitely harder still. 

So I shall definitely be cheering for Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading tonight.

Not only because she is a brilliant songwriter artist;
but also because she represents Anita and Barbara and every other girl in the seventies who had a dream. 

She is proof to me that you move towards what you picture in your mind. 
When she took her guitar to the factory at 15, 
I wonder if she dreamt about playing at the Royal Albert Hall…. 

Gotta go!!! I shall miss my train!!!
Lunch with Jim and Dave at the V&A.
More wonderful culture!
Well, why not….
love & hugs

102 thoughts on “A date with Joan Armatrading!

  1. Morning Barbara, Have a lovely time at the Royal Albert Hall and Congratulations to Joan getting presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, very well deserved. I loved your mini Biography of Joan, thank you, Barbara.
    Have a lovely lunch too at the V&A.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

  2. Morning Barbara, Have a lovely time at the Royal Albert Hall and Congratulations to Joan getting presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, very well deserved. I loved your mini Biography of Joan, thank you, Barbara.
    Have a lovely lunch too at the V&A.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

  3. What a fascinating and inspirational story! I know very little about Joan Armatrading and her music, but as usual, Barbara, you have inspired me and I am now off to iTunes to download an album or three to listen to while I play with my Gelli plates.
    Hoping you and Dave have a wonderful time, and enjoy every minute.

  4. Have a wonderful day and evening, you deserve it. You've educated me again Barbara, Thank you. I'm ashamed to say I hadn't heard of Joan Armatrading until today, but hubby informs me he has. So I'm off to utube to see if I know any of her songs. Must admit didn't know Willow.

  5. Morning Donna, Sheila, Diane, Brenda, Dot, Gilly, Alison, Morag, Pen, Sue 57. Hope you are getting a bit of sunshine, we have it at the moment, how ling it will last who knows, but going to enjoy while it's here. Have a lovely day all my blog friends. Please rest all those who need to, and hope you aren't in any pain. Love to everyone on the blog, Love and hugs,Pam xxx

    1. Hello all. Cold but sunny here. I hope you have a great evening Barbara. I saw Jaon Armatrading in concert in Oxford many years ago – a Christmas present from my brother. She was fantastic! Best wishes, Sue

    2. Hi sue how are you doing ? It's was lovley sunshine earlier now we have had snow sleet hailstones wouldn't think it was May at the weekend lots of hugs xxx

    3. Hi Sheila, I'm doing ok today. Had a delivery from Clarity Towers this morning – guaranteed to start the day with a smile! Just about to have a little play with Groovi. Mum hasn't been too bad the last couple of weeks, sleeping a lot which gives me a break! I hope life is treating you well – but it sounds, from your message below as if you have had a painful time. I am glad you are feeling better today and enjoying the sun. Stay warm! Best wishes, Sue

    4. Hi sue so pleased your getting some time to enjoy your crafting and your mum is sleeping more I got a clarity parcel on Monday does make us smile stay safe hugs xxx

  6. Lucky you, enjoy! Didn't know anything about the lady herself (only her music) until yesterday when she was a guest on BBC breakfast. Although she is mega-talented, she is modest, witty and charming. Have a great day.
    Tonbridge Sue

  7. Lucky you! I don't know a thing about Joan Armatrading, but I know that song (Willow) like it was my right hand! I had one of her albums on 8 track (I'm giving away my age here), and played it over and over again on my car stereo while I practiced layups on the basketball court in our small town when I was a teenager. So inspiring! And I was lucky enough to see her perform live as a backup band in Philly when I was 17! No one I know now knows of her! What a shame!

  8. Lucky you! I don't know a thing about Joan Armatrading, but I know that song (Willow) like it was my right hand! I had one of her albums on 8 track (I'm giving away my age here), and played it over and over again on my car stereo while I practiced layups on the basketball court in our small town when I was a teenager. So inspiring! And I was lucky enough to see her perform live as a backup band in Philly when I was 17! No one I know now knows of her! What a shame!

  9. Enjoy your day away you deserve plenty of R&R have a lovley lunch and sit back and enjoy the show looking forward to hochanda on Sunday & Monday lots of love comming your way xxx

    1. Morning Donna Dorothy Diane Brenda pam gilly morag Alison Julia pen Chris sending lots of hugs to my dear blog friends you all feel like a lovley blog family now .hugs to all on the blog xxx
      My steroids gave a little pain relief yesterday but I feel good today I've forgotten what it is like to not have pain in my hand wrists and elbows and swelling in my fingers wrists thumb .im going to try a little craft this afternoon just a little as don't want to push myself .
      Thank you all so much for your wishes hope your day is good like mine it's sunshine here at present so might sit in the warmth of the conservatory xxxx

    2. Great to hear the steroids are doing their job. I might just disappear into the back room and do a bit of crafting myself. Don't tell my husband as I'm supposed to be cleaning up and masking off in the bedroom ready to paint some of the woodwork tomorrow.

    3. Oh Sheila I am pleased you are finally feeling some comfort. Must be all the positive vibes we are all sending you. Lets hope it continues for a long time to come. XX

    4. Evening Sheila – so pleased to hear that you have got rid of so much pain, how wonderful for you! Keep taking care of yourself – many hugs from Gilly xxx

    5. Hi Sheila oh I am glad the injection has finally worked some magic and you are pain free at last. I hope you enjoyed your bit of crafting and you woke up pain free again today xxx

  10. Hi Barbara, I have obviously heard of Joan but don't know her music so thanks for the biography and the song. Enjoy your lunch and the Folk Awards tonight and congratulations to Joan for receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award which she certainly deserves. x

  11. Wow….you are one lucky lady!! I would love to see Joan Armatrading….she has a wonderful voice ans soooo much talent. Have a fabulous day….you have definitely earned it! Jo(an) xxx

  12. Hi Barb,
    Wow how lucky are you! I love Joan Armatrading and have a couple of her LPs and quite a few songs on my iPod. She has such a unique voice. I saw her yesterday on Breakfast and smiled when I was watching – she is so down to earth and unpretentious. How many MBEs would go on national tv in a pair of Crocs! I hope you all have a fabulous time tonight and give a few extra claps from me for such a hugely talented lady who rightly deserves this Lifetime Achievement. Love and hugs, Alison X.

  13. I too love Joan and grew up with her in the seventies. We have travelled down the road of equality for all so far that we forget what it was like in the seventies and how discriminating people were. I also grew up with folk as my brother was a big folky going to the folk club and practising his singing in the bathroom for better acoustics. So I know you are going to have a fabulous night tonight. Even lunch at the V&A is a treat. When I was an art student in London I used to frequent it sketching and looking in wonder at its contents. It's my favourite museum of all. Soak up that culture, enjoy and feed the soul. Much love Jayne

  14. I hope you all enjoyed your day off, it's well deserved. Glad you are pacing yourself more. I am wondering how Grace is getting on? Maybe I've missed an update.

  15. I have to say I'm a little bit envious, I'd love to be going to such an event and so see Joan Armatrading. You've got us all on youtube now playing her songs, I'm currently listening to Love and Affecton. I hope everyone else is having a good day. The sun is shining here but not for long, we had more snow showers this morning.

  16. Afternoon Sheila, Diane, Pam, Dot, Morag, Gilly and Alison. Bright sunshine today, so different to yesterday. Off to see the Jungle Book later, I know it will be that one tonight as I have booked the tickets. Hope you are all OK. XX

    1. Hi Donna, enjoy your night out and the film. Lucky you having sunshine – it is snowing here and has not been a nice day at all. Love and hugs, Alison xx

    2. Hi Donna I hope the film was good, hubby and daughter saw it and have told me I must go it's so good, I love the original one so let me know what you think xxx

  17. Barbara, you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone, even if you did have something to justify, which you don’t. It made me smile to hear of your special day off in London. And I can picture you standing on your seat, jumping up and down clapping and cheering the loudest by far when Joan gets her award 🙂 I hope you and Dave and Jim are really enjoying yourselves.

    Mindful Wednesday. This here blog community used to be a safe, fun and (when appropriate) happy place to come for a bit of Mindfulness away from all my problems. A place of like minded crafty and arty people where we share in that and get our crafty and worldly inspiration from Barbara, and help each other out answering crafty questions and giving encouragement. A place of very caring people who always empathised, sympathised, tried to understand and support each other. And a place where we also used to have a lot of fun and happiness, and shared the positives and good bits in our day for each of us no matter how small and insignificant those appeared to some. I'm feeling that’s been missing from here. Life is way too short and precious to concentrate on the bad stuff, the problems, the what you don’t have, the everyday mundane. I’ve had a lovely afternoon sat in my beanbag even though it was so little that to most it would be nothing. Had my laugh today, again something so small that most wouldn’t even give it a second thought.
    Love Brenda xx

    Sheila, I’m so relieved to hear your steroid has kicked in. I was going to say bet you were up doing your happy dance, but I think waving your arms about would be more appropriate!!!;-) Are you taking omega 3 supplements? If not you should seriously consider it, totally safe, good for the brain too! Ask your doctor first though, just in case you’re on any medication that would mean you shouldn’t, although I can’t see why any would, but best to be safe. xx

    Sue, glad you're getting a wee bit respite each day from your mum's illness, that must make it easier, in relative terms, for you to cope. Are you pursuing getting help for your mum and you, how's that going? xx

    Hope you enjoy the film Donna, is it like the Disney one? xx

    1. Hello Brenda oh it was so good to craft today just a little but so good coloured a piece of parchment ready for June's calendar challange as its a groovi looks a bit intricate so will do a little on the days I feel I can .ive got to see my GP on Tuesday and got lots of blood tests on a week Thursday that the pain mannagment has requested and the rheumatologist has ask for they going to start me on a rheumatic drug after my blood tests
      But I will asked my GP see what he says thank you for the heads up on that one how's daisy is she behaving hugs for you both xxx

    2. Hi Brenda, it isnt a cartoon singing version, it has a boy and the animals are CG. The trailer looks really good, I'm looking forward to it. How has the weather been? Have you had everything in one day like I did yesterday? Good to see you here! Xx

    3. Hi Brenda glad when I see you here and that you found a wee thing to laugh about I laugh at daft stuff that ither folk widnae find funny tae like throwing bun and eggs virtually our bridges and making up silly songs and dreaming about our volunteer bus some folk will think Im a bit o a dafty and whats she on aboot here.. do I care naw!! I care about people and sit here and hope people smile and God love you Brenda I pray you do.. here's yir cuddle

    4. You're welcome Sheila, happy to help in any small way if I can. Daisy is good, quite fun just now, thanks for asking xx

      Hi Donna, for me the Jungle Book wouldn't be the same without the songs!!! Hope you enjoyed it though xx

      Yes Dot, you do make me smile/laugh :-). I do still look for you commenting each day. Sadly here isn't the safe place it used to be for me, so I've got to keep myself safe by just staying out the way, especially with having no one to help and support me. cuddle back xx

    5. Oh dear Brenda why do you feel unsafe here now my dear blog friend I miss you when you don't come to say hi you help me and many others with your knowledge it's good to share our hugs and our cushions camp fires and our bus glad daisy is keeping you busy bless her sending lots of safe hugs to help you through each day xxx

    6. Thanks Donna your Swedish friend had me giggling out loud to hugs ..Dot.xx
      Thanks Brenda you help me to sorry your feeling like that just now but we won't give up.. you belong here another wee cuddle for yi…xx

    7. I bet youtube people must be wondering why they have had a big surge in hits for Joan Armatrading, eh. See the influence, and power, one person can have on so many other people. When that's a good soul, like yourself Barbara, that's great, but when it's not….

    8. Trust you Sheila to find them first!!!! Got to keep up your reputation for most faller off the wagon!!! I may need to follow you in the near future as Daisy has discovered the blue mat I keep stroking with a pointy thing is spongy, perfect for digging the claws into!!! She's been very thoughtful though and only had one long scratch near the edge! So far!!! Note to self, leave mat hard side up! xx

    9. Bless you Brenda that made me smile you will have to have a wee black mat now that daisy has claimed the blue one as hers you can buy an A5&A4 in black I will listen for the bump see you at the camp fire hugs dear blog friend xxx

    10. Hi Brenda my lovely lady oh I now have visions of you and Daisy having a tussle over the blue mat to see who can get to it first! Go on, treat yourself to the black one too but don't let Daisy see it. Sending you a hug and a little one for Daisy too xxx

    1. Evening Dorothy dear blog friend thank you for you wishes I will be good just a little crafting lots of hugs how's wee Amy doing was it swimming tonight ? Xxx

  18. Hi Barbara

    I hope your day has gone according to plan and also continues…. you deserve it

    My 'diamond' parcel was delivered today 🙂 thank you, yippee!!! Can't wait to get started


    June x

  19. Hope you're having a fantastic time with a fantastic artist. Love her and love her work. Incredible voice. Joan Armatrading singing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is still one of my all-time favourites.

    Got my Clarity Club envelope today – wow! All fab designs. Thanks you. Can't wait for when we can buy that other nouveau lady plate. It looks beautiful too.

  20. Hi Morag, Diane, Pen, Jackie, Sue57 and all of my blog friends – I hope that you are all well and having a good day and managing to keep warm! It has been cold, sunny and hail showers here today – I have been resting by the fire and also doing a tiny bit of preparation of clothes etc! We are going away for about 10 days, before Neill's next appointment. We are going in our motor home and we are SO looking forward to it, we should be leaving tomorrow afternoon – if everything is ready – if not Friday morning. We are hoping to get to a family celebration in Tamworth – subject to how I feel, so fingers crossed. We won't have internet for some of the time, so I shall be on the missing list! Love and hugs to you all – Gilly xxx

    1. Hi Gilly
      Take it slowly the pair of you and make sure you both rest but mainly have fun and a lot of laughter and enjoy your family party. See you when you get back xxx

  21. Evening gilly have a wonderful break away in your motor home don't forget to take care and rest when you can a change of scenery will be good for you both will miss you on here but can catch up when you come home again you might get in a cafe with a wifi on your tours will be thinking of you each day xxx

    1. Ah, bless you Sheila! The great thing about it is, that I can rest whenever I want and we will only be travelling short distances each day. It really is a home from home! You make sure that you take care of yourself too! I will also be thinking of you each day – I hope that all of your appointments go well for you. Make sure that you rest up too – more hugs Gilly xxx

    2. Ooh no Sheila, I haven't been looking today. Now that might just have to be done, when we get back. I trust that you had a safe landing Sheila! I'm just off to have a little look now! xxx

    3. Hi again Sheila – just had a little look! Did you just get the A5 mat? Does this mean that you mainly use your baby plates, because it is easier to do whilst in bed? I have noticed that using the smaller plates with their insert, is easier for me to handle xxx

    4. Hi gilly yes I ordered the A5 as that's the same size as the parchment I use my baby plate mate with my baby plates and the little groovi folder as its not heavy in bed as the starter kit I find that heavy but can use that one on my desk top I use my inset if I'm using my baby plates in my starter kit on my desk . Does that all make sense xxx

  22. I'm sure you had a fantastic time seeing Joan. I've always loved the song love and affection, although I'm not a big folk fan, but she seems to cross over many styles of music. I received my parcel of goodies this morning from the club. Made my morning, brought a smile to.my face. I especially love the stencil, but I adore hares. Xx

  23. Have a great time, always good to see her live. A little bird phoned me today, my daughter had spotted you in the V and A shop…no secrets! She phoned me from the garden having a cuppa and a brownie😊

  24. Hi Barbara
    As I'm playing catch up its the morning after the night before so I hope you had an amazing time and your ears are ringing, your hands are sore and your throat is a little hoarse! What a horrible thing to say to someone, but I mean it in a good way because it means the music was good, you sung along with gusto and clapped away and cheered. What a lovely treat for you all, you work so blooming hard you deserve a day off in lieu! My daughter is a huge folk fan so no doubt I will have a text from her later with an update on who got awards. Joan armatrading really deserves the life time achievement award, what an amazing woman.
    Take care
    Love Diane xxx

  25. Hi Barbara, I hope all had a wonderful day & evening. I only knew a couple of songs by Joan Armatrading and loved the video. The words are full of meaning and I will listen to her some more, thank you for sharing the mini bio of her. xx

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