Beth Orton at Largo – with Gillian Welch!

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Beth Orton by E.Z. Wrightson/LA WEEKLY
Beth Orton by E.Z. Wrightson/LA WEEKLY

Largo at the Coronet is a pretty small venue for an artist like Beth Orton, but the UK singer booked the show just two weeks ago and was recovering from a bout with walking pneumonia, claiming she “exhumed” herself just for the show. She was coughing throughout the set and even had to start over a couple songs, but used it to comic effect. The result was a show that everyone in the audience knew was a singular moment in time – there would never be a show like it again. That is the beauty of a live experience, even with the coughs and startovers. Beth also admitted to a serious case of nerves throughout the show because she was alone on the stage with just an acoustic guitar and she rarely plays without someone by her side At the beginning she promised to play favorites with a few new ones slipped in because she’s “like that. (Dramatic pause). Prolific.”  We all laughed and rooted her on.

She played gems from her catalogue (“Central Reservation,” “She Cries Your Name”), covers (“Ooh Child”), and, yes, new songs. Beth brought out bluegrass star Gillian Welch to harmonize on a new song that doesn’t even have a name yet. It was definitely a highlight of the evening, their voices blended together beautifully.

At the end, Beth requested audience participation to fill out her set list and then told most of them to “f*ck off”(jokingly) when she heard their choices. It was clear this was a devoted audience that knew ALL of her music.

Check out some of her previous performances on Morning Becomes Eclectic here

Check out the LA Weekly review here