Review: Beth Orton, Rescue Rooms, by David Belbin

Review: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 6th December 2012 from thisisnottingham

EACH time Beth Orton plays Nottingham, the venues get smaller but the music gets even better.

From the Concert Hall to Rock City to last year’s twice postponed Glee show, she’s become a more assured, riveting live presence.

She comes on solo, a thin figure in a long green shirt, and sings Magpie, the opening song on new album Sugaring Season.

In husband Sam Amidon, Beth’s also found an ideal musical partner, on guitar, violin and occasional backing vocals. He joins her for State of Grace, then comes and goes for the rest of the set.

Two of her best loved numbers, She Cries Your Name and Central Reservation follow.

A packed but hushed Rescue Rooms laps up her unique voice, with its wide, soulful range that also has a vulnerable catch, as though she’s about to come down with a cold.

New songs Something So Beautiful and Dawn Chorus are particular treats.

Most of the new album is carefully mixed with highlights from each of its predecessors, like Safe In Your Arms and Concrete Sky. This is a tour by train, and she explains how, as the couple were loading their taxi for the station, the police chased a burglar through her house.

‘I could have just gone, but we’d left the baby behind… anyway, they caught him.’

The exquisite, 73 minute sixteen song set passes in a flash.

She returns solo, and gives us the much requested Stolen Car and a terrific, haunting Feel To Believe.

Outstanding.

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