On Wednesday night Beth Orton hypnotised a busy Arts Club with a mesmerising performance, which Getintothis’ Lauren Wise was lucky enough to catch.
Midweek gigs can be tricky things.
Usually with a week night gig, you’d be lucky to get more than a handful of people turning up. At The Arts Club however, it wasn’t that shocking to see a full-house on a Wednesday night – not when you consider who they were waiting for.
Having a career that spans decades, it’s unsurprising that a diverse and plentiful crowd poured through the doors to see Beth Orton in the flesh and touring an album that trumpets a fresh take on her staple electronic-folk sound.
Supporting Beth and providing the soundtrack as hordes of fans descend is Afrodeutsche, a DJ that clearly caters to the electronic side of the audiences’ taste buds.
That’s not to say, however, that the unanticipated performance wasn’t a well-received one.
Signed to SKAM, Afrodeutsche is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German composer, producer and DJ offering a techno-electro mix.
Her performance proves just how much work DJing really does take – but also how rewarding it is, which is clear from the enthusiastic energy she brought to the stage.
After a short interval Beth Orton takes to the stage, instantly welcomed by a friendly audience and an at-ease atmosphere.
She begins the set with Moon, heading in with one from her 2016 album, Kidsticks. It might be a trait which many loathe but here it’s met with cheers and tangible delight.
Accompanied by an electric undertone thanks to use of a loop pedal by the guitarist, the song encapsulates the best bits of Beth’s latest offering, with an exciting new take on the mix of electronic/folk she has previously created.
A catchy hook and vague yet enticing lyrics are the perfect start to what promises to be a great night, with ‘I see the light and your bright keeps me up all night’ promising to be stuck in your head for the entire journey home.
As soon as the first song is over expressions of appreciation are bellowed from the crowd with ‘I LOVE YOU BETH’ being the first of a few. Not only is she able to create a song with marvellous talent, but it appears she is also able to easily chat to a crowd – individually or together – and diffuse any mischievous heckle with a laugh and joke.
Back to the music, we continue on a lunar theme with Wave, another from Kidsticks. While Moon was able to set the tone, Wave set the standard for lyrics. Simultaneously elusive and self-explanatory, ‘I was crying out for you/Before I ever knew/Crying out to you/Breathe me in’ seems to offer a meaning straight away and then nip it away as soon as you think you have it – leaving you pondering for days, just like good poetry should.
Other highlights of the set include 1973 and Falling, the former of which illustrates the delicacy and power of Beth’s vocals, hinged on that all-important electronic peg.
The rest of the set lives up to the openers, and no one is left disappointed.
It might be easy to fill a venue, after all, but to keep it as transfixed as Beth Orton proves just how important her music is – not only to the fans who’ve followed her through the years, but also to the younger faces in the crowd.
Images by Getintothis’ Chris Flack