22nd FEBRUARY 2006 - MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
|04||Heart Of Soul|
|05||Safe In Your Arms|
|10||Shadow Of A Doubt|
|11||Comfort Of Strangers|
|14||She Cries Your Name|
|17||Pieces Of Sky|
She played a really long set, 9.15-11.05pm, she has normally been off by about 10.45pm, apart from Norwich, I think.
Clayhill said in their set that it was the first night they went on Beth's tour bus, and they got around to arm wrestling, and joked that Ali might look hard, but not only did he go out in the first round (beaten by a girl ... can only assume Beth or her manager), and was discouraged by the violence. Emmett (Beth's guitarist) won, and he really doesn't look like he could fight his way out of a wet paper bag to look at him
Urm, the "sign my tit" thing that they told in Nottingham also came up again. They were signing things at the back and the keyboard players girfriend ran up (they didn't know it was the keyboard player's girlfriend) and she shouted "sign my tit" ... apparently, the look on the three Clayhill guy's faces was a picture Ali played the scissors again. I am now convinced Clayhill have 1 good song, and a few ok ones.
Worms - she shouted don't look up my skirt (facing the opposite direction) and then did the least ladylike turn back in our direction at the end of it ... didn't know where to look (well, I did, but I am far too much of a gentleman)
Thousands of "I love you Beth" shouts all the way through, including the girl behind asking would she come and see her mum .... she didn't actually say that, but that's what Beth heard. Same girl was trying to do the bump with me for most of the gig, and spent along time groping my arse for most of the gig, and hugging my back, and doing something that the bloke next to me didn't approve of, but I didn't dare turn around. She was having fun, to say the least. Some bloke ran from about 8 rows back just before the start, pushed my head to one side and threw about a dozen roses (or carnations) on the stage, which went unnoticed. I get the feeling behind the silent front row, all in awe no doubt, the place was awash with pissed mental patients on an outing. Bit like Leeds really, but she wasn't bothered this time. And she was really careful not to break the strings as well, like she did there.
Stood next to two real, proper, music geeks who were taping the show - I mean I look geeky, but these two were like extremely geeky ... I was there a good hour before the doors, and they were already queuing. Was stood right in front of Beth, and could have given her a relatively good dental check-up for the most part, well if I had gone down that route (I was meant to go to dental school by the way!, but I fancied computers more - the things u learn eh?)
I just couldn't speak, or do anything apart from stare and clap, all the way through the gig though. She had glittery make up, and she looked like a shaggy dog.
Beth was more like a young girl all the way through, the thank you's were cheeky, she skipped to the mic a few times and it was just so great. If I never go to another concert again, or never listen to another album again, I would still reallllllly happy .. best concert on the tour, probably the best concert ever!
Oh aye, and if I ever posted what I was going to post about the new guitar roadie, it is still Slouch, and he's a Chelsea fan (muhaha)
General thoughts about the songs, Toby is right, u really need to be close enough to see the expressions on Beth's face on Heart of Soul. I finally got that song last night (due to my appauling eyesight and the poor lighting, I haven't seen her facial expressions at the other gigs... Plus I was late for some them, so I was a few rows back)
I didn't used to like the new live band (apart from the drummer, who is ace!), but I now do, the bass player looks like he is really thinking about it.
Hehe, anyway, this has passed an hour on the train ... well this and looking at the snow falling on the Welsh countryside. Oh shit, I'm still in England! what am I saying
REVIEW BY ADE
Beth Orton @ Academy 1
HIGH SPIRITS: Beth Orton
BETH Orton is in high spirits. In between tracks, she giggles heartily and even cracks jokes. "What's ET short for?" she smiles. "Because he has small legs!" Okay, admittedly we didn't say they were GOOD jokes.
Its a natural, endearing charisma that buoys her gig along. She's here to promote her latest effort Comfort Of Strangers, which has seen her being hailed/sneered at as the thinking man's Dido.
Clad in a billowing summery dress and, from afar, anyhow, bearing a startling resemblance to a young Penelope Wilton (disappointingly, there's no cover of the Ever Decreasing Circles theme), tunes that may sound malnourished on Comfort become more muscular live, thanks to Orton's fantastic, husky voice.
Of the new material, Worms is the indisputable highlight: a Rufus-like piano strutter. Feral Children sees her changing tack, wrapping her sentiment of bitter relationships in genuinely haunting vocals. Its the big-hitters that reap the biggest huzzahs, like the feel-bad, achingly lonely She Cries Your Name.
Problems occur when she reverts to ho-hum melodies and by-numbers lyrics, which causes the irritating chatter at the back to get increasingly louder.
Nowhere near as dull as Dido, it's a pleasant, if not exactly mind-blowing, evening with flickers of greatness that proves Beth's not ready for the dumper just yet.