Beth Orton: The Kazimier in Liverpool will be a real highlight of my tour

Jade  Wright, Liverpool Echo Apr  12 2013

Beth Orton

Beth Orton

“LIVERPOOL is a place where people love music, so I knew that when I started  touring again I had to come and play there,” says Beth Orton, the BRIT  Award-winner and two-time Mercury Prize nominee.

She has collaborated with Bert Jansch, Emmylou Harris, Beck, Jim O’Rourke,  Terry Callier and Ryan Adams, but took a break to have her children – Nancy and  Arthur.

Now she’s back on the road with musician husband Sam Amidon, playing the  Kazimier tonight.

“I’ve heard it’s a great venue,” says the 42-year-old singer. “It’s been a  long time since I was in Liverpool and I’m really looking forward to it 

“Plus, Sam and I have the children with us so it’s a proper little family  tour.

“Liverpool is always a highlight on any tour because of the audience. I’ve  always liked Glasgow, Bristol and Norwich too. They are all music cities, and  that makes a huge difference.

“I’ve always felt that the crowds there will you to do well. They are up for  anything.”

When it comes to picking a setlist, it’s always tricky she says.

“I try to make it like a mixtape I’m making for the crowd,” she explains. “They tend to be songs I feel passionate about.

“I’ll be playing songs from my new record, plus picking out some old songs  I’ve not done in a while too.”

For the album, Sugaring Season, she brought together a dream band of new and  old friends – keyboardist Rob Burger, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and legendary  jazz drummer Brian Blade, along with guitarists Marc Ribot and Ted Barnes and  her husband – folksinger Sam Amidon.

“We had such a good time making it,” she smiles. “It was like hanging out  with old friends.”

The album was recorded predominantly live as the band reflected Beth’s  disparate inspirations, from Roberta Flack’sŠFirst TakeŠalbum to Pentangle’s  folk-jazz collisions.

The songs range from deeply soulful to effortless and breezy, with open-tuned  guitars and pensive pianos.

It is Beth’s first album in six years. Recorded in Portland, Oregon, with  producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists), the album bears  the fruits of her time spent away from the music industry.

“I stretched myself as a singer on this record and used voices I never have  before as a writer,” she says. “A lot of the writing on this record happened in  the dead of night, when spiders mend their webs, with an infant asleep in the  next room – as a result, my writing became a secret again: illicit and my  own.”

Beth Orton plays The Kazimier tonight. For details see

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