The Classic Grand, Glasgow
13th October, 2022
Opening up to nothing less than a picture-perfect venue, The Classic Grande has a more than illustrious history, fascinating to look at. So on the eve I go in for the first time, climbing happily to the fourth or fifth floor. I’ve always wanted to go in this building and found it resplendent.
Beth Orton is an incredibly prolific artist, recording multiple albums since the 1996’s acclaimed ‘Training Park’, she has brought her tours to fans across the world, collaborating with major performers who helped set a new and brilliant scene for music lovers. She brings this new scene into a focused play with her marvellously admirable music so amply filled with new songs cut and dry.
The music began with an interesting ensemble of three; playing bass, vocal and guitar. They were kind of far out which I liked, it also sounded like a transient progression where each song was a step into musical complication. Then followed a solo act who gave the room a meditative quality, both warm-ups used a lot of sustained notes liken to enlarge us into a musical, spiritual, softy spoken atmosphere.
The three acts are touring together bringing Beth’s new album ‘Weather alive’ to excited fans and admirers. The smooth and thriftily played double base oozed that sound, holding hands with Orton’s keyboard work, of touching sadness though. She was so endearing wearing one of the most beautiful sequined frocks.
She went through old and new material; I was a fan in the 1990’s when I picked up her album ‘Central reservation’. Following her through the decades (if you can believe it) there was always a remarkable turn of phrase and two-way discussion found in her lyrics. One of the most powerful of which is the line ‘it’s like catching snow on your tongue, you can’t pin this butterfly down’; strong lyrics from a unique act, exploring endearingly by singing about a whole mountain of feeling.
The room was pretty, the crowd attentive, inviting us into a fusion of folk and electronic she stirred the hearts of all. There was such a great grace of love present and indeed an abundance; for what senses weren’t brought to life by music in the name of beauty. From the beginning her naturally gifted presence has given her one of the most thrilling, and wildly sensitive heart, we could see the look on her face as she smiled or frowned.
But as in any great entourage in music there was no little joy, no little happiness in music, life and people coming together for the majestic cause of music. The beauteous, shapely, protectively aware performers eluded to have pain in their songs, of a vulnerability coming together from the super strong Beth, whose name and presence filled the room in style, and mesmerising quality.
Back at the live shows we were reminded how pleasurable it can be where so many fill a room to someone quite as capable as Beth appeared to be. She will draw you in, she will make points and allusions favouring compassion brought sweetly into immeasurable proportions, putting music together has been a life’s joy for Beth, whose journey’s we follow with unmissable interest and respect.