A DELICATE-LOOKING Joni Mitchell, obviously nervous of the capacity audience, stepped onto the Royal Festival Hall stage last Saturday to use a pile of sound equipment which would not have shamed the Who—plus a piano, a guitar and a glass of water.
But by the end of the first half she was well on her way to scoring one of the biggest solo artist successes in a London concert hall for a long time. A concert which ended in standing ovations and two encores.
Joni Mitchell can have no secrets from the world, because her own life, feelings and impressions, the people and places she knows and feels for, are all in the songs that are as delicate as her looks.
I would describe her songs as "sad city" sounds, because most have the air of a city street in autumn with a few leaves being blown about. Most people in the songs are city people doing city things, whereas most singers of her ilk sing of pastoral, summery things.
Apart from her triumphs of Chelsea Morning, Both Sides Now
, a rock-n-roll song They Paved Paradise And Put Up A Parking Lot
, is destined to be a classic.