Last weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing a night of extraordinary music at Peggy's Skylight in the heart of Hockley, Nottingham. This renowned jazz bar, with its intimate setting and exceptional lineups, provided the perfect backdrop for a performance by the talented Joanna Eden and band.

From the moment we walked through the doors, the welcoming staff of Peggy's made us feel right at home, a feeling I have experienced previously when visiting with my dad to watch the talented Blues artist Errol Linton.

We decided to kick off the evening with two exceptional Espresso Martinis, expertly crafted and the perfect accompaniment to the night ahead. To complement our drinks, we ordered some delicious hummus and flatbreads, cooked in their stone oven to nibble while watching the performance.

Peggy's Skylight offered two show times for Joanna Eden: a dining show at 7:30 PM and a later show at 10 PM. We opted for the late show, which still allowed attendees to order food. Our seats were centre-right to the stage, offering a fantastic view of the performance. One of the unique features of Peggy's Skylight is their tiered seating, which includes reclaimed Nottingham Theatre Royal seats in royal red. These seats come with a nifty button that lights up a submarine bulb, signalling for service at your table.

Joanna Eden took the stage, bringing with her an air of elegance and a voice that captivated everyone in the room. Described by Mojo magazine as having "melody, mystery, and bite," Joanna's songwriting and performances are truly one-of-a-kind. Growing up not far from us in Lincoln, she drew inspiration from artists like Christine McVie, Stevie Winwood, and Nick Drake, blending these influences into her own unique sound.

With six solo albums to her name, Joanna's repertoire spans jazz, soul, bossa nova, and blues. Her beautifully crafted compositions and personal lyrics reflect life's changes, reminiscent of her songwriting hero Joni Mitchell. Throughout her 20-year career, she has built a devoted following, regularly performing at prestigious venues like Ronnie Scott’s Club and supporting artists such as Van Morrison, Tom Jones, and Jamie Cullum.

Joanna's interaction with the audience was warm and engaging, making us feel like part of an exclusive musical journey. Her set was interjected with beautiful takes on well-known covers, showcasing her powerful and sometimes ethereal voice. Her love for Joni Mitchell became evident throughout the night, interjecting her own writings with gorgeous renditions of Joni Mitchell’s "Big Yellow Taxi" and a passionate performance of "Blue."

Joanna's love for jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald was evident in her stunning scat solo, a tribute to the great Ella herself. She also expressed her admiration for Nat King Cole, adding personal anecdotes and stories behind each song choice.

Joanna was accompanied by a world-class band, each member a maestro in their own right. Uruguayan bass player Andrés Lafone, with over 50 albums to his credit, showcased his prowess on both the double bass and 4-string bass. Guitarist and composer Guillermo Hill brought vibrant Uruguayan influences to the music, while drummer George Double added a dynamic rhythm, having performed with stars like Mica Paris and Dame Shirley Bassey.

One of the standout moments was "Firefly," a gentle and playful number co-written by Andrés and Joanna. The audience clapped in synchrony, captivated by the infectious energy of the performance. Joanna's storytelling adds a personal touch, sharing why each song held significance to her personally.

The warmth of their sound filled the room, with Joanna playing a cool red Nord piano keyboard. She covered a Stephen Sondheim song, respecting the original lyrics but adding her unique musical twist. The diverse audience, ranging from young jazz enthusiasts to seasoned veterans, was a testament to the universal appeal of Joanna's music.

Joanna ended her set by expressing her love for Peggy's Skylight, calling it "the best jazz club outside of London."

For those who missed this evening, Joanna Eden promised to return soon, but will also be playing the famous Ronnie Scott's on the 29th of May, 2024 - she has multiple dates across the UK.

To learn more about Joanna Eden, her music, and upcoming performances, visit her website here.

Peggy's Skylight in Nottingham is more than just a jazz bar; it’s a haven for music lovers.

The venue is an excellent addition to Hockley’s cultural repertoire, a great place to indulge in a variety of genre's not only Jazz, and a fantastic spot for a date night!
Don't miss the chance to experience it for yourself!

Review and Photography by Kelham Stevenson - Visit Nottinghamshire Marketing Executive & Digital Asset Specialist


Peggy's Skylight
Music Hall
Peggy's Skylight | Visit Nottinghamshire

Like most great stories, Peggy's Skylight started with love - a love of jazz and great music. As jazz musicians, Peggy’s founders, Rachel Foster & Paul Deats have performed as ‘Me & Mr Jones’ in many venues and around the world, but one thing that always struck them about home, is that although Nottingham is an amazing city with such incredible musical talent, it lacked a fantastic jazz venue that puts great sound quality at its forefront.



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