REVIEW: BETH ORTON AT CARDIFF GLEE CLUB (17/04/11)
Beth Orton has been off the radar for a while not and judging my the rotund tummy underneath her baggy top, it’s clear to see why. The down to earth singer has been busy with babies. But that doesn’t mean she’s gone all gaga and her execution of her poignant songs at the Cardiff Glee Club proved that. Beth Orton is an understated beauty, her boyish haircut and slightly risque quick wit making for compelling intersong banter. She revealed her Welsh heritage and joked about singing in an accent but thankfully she didn’t give that one a whirl. She also apologised for the lack of new material (and admitted it was due to baby making/rearing) but assured us she’d be going back into the studio soon and may even records two albums back to back. She went on to showcase a new song called Candles, which she described as a ‘work in progress’ but which went onto become one of the highlights of the set. More like that please Beth.
She opened with the upbeat Someone’s Daughter with a simple guitar part and those signature fragile yet powerful vocals, before launching into a tirade of ballads, including Stolen Car, She Cries Your Name and Central Reservation – which proved the highlight of the set. You can’t fault Beth on her lyrical ability; she manages to sum up some quite philosphical musings in a couple of very succinct lyrics. None more so than in I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine…which is followed up with the line ‘then maybe, I wouldn’t mind the rain.’ or in Sweetest Decline where she repeats ‘What are regrets? Just lessons you haven’t learned yet.’ Brilliant. Then came the request part and after siphoning through the torrent of heckled requests she opted for the beautifully stark Blood Red River, which she forgot the words to midway through. Oops. Still, it didn’t fail to impress. Granted her voice wasn’t on top form, due to the obvious affliction of a stinking cold (hacking between songs and constant water supping) but she still managed to hit most of the notes in the distinctive warbly way she does. But the notes she didn’t make and the staccato squeaking was pretty poor; though what was the alternative? Cancelling the gig? Nope, we’re glad she pushed on with the show.
Words and photo: Laura Williams
by 247 Magazine