Beth Orton - Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, Tue 9 Apr 2013 (4 stars)

Beth Orton - Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, Tue 9 Apr

The ever-pegged queen of British folk is affably personable at this reasonably intimate show

Given the hype around Beth Orton's sixth and latest release Sugaring Season you might expect the ever-pegged queen of British folk to be flush with confidence. Instead she's sheepish, funny and affably personable; drinking herbal tea, pulling her jeans up and making quips like, 'I might add a new verse … about the light of your iPod', during a cumulative serenade of 'It's Not the Spotlight'.

Orton's unmistakable vocal reigns, it soars and traverses emotions; sorrowful and mature then high, light and jubilant. Her band, talented musicians and friends, come and go as required adding some exquisite instrumental touches.

Minus a flicker off-stage, the show lasted a sizeable hour and an half, and included 'Call Me the Breeze', 'Dawn Chorus' and the William Blake-inspired 'The Poison Tree' amongst her refreshing new material. For longtime fans, 'Galaxy of Emptiness', a searing version of 'Paris Train' and the bittersweet 'Shopping Trolley' were still relevant additions. Moments to note included a fitting homage to collaborator the late Bert Jansch, the Anne Briggs-inspired 'Shadow of a doubt', and the gorgeous solo piano track 'Last Leaves of Autumn'.

Taking the fruits of folk traditions, Orton's songs - old and new - glimmer with heartfelt beauty and lyrical poignancy, in a world of cluttered and confused genres they can only flourish.


Beth Orton

The wispy songstress plays material from Kidsticks.

Ryan Adams, Beth Orton

Acoustica from the alt country trailblazer and prolific singer-songwriter, playing old favourites as well as showcasing material from his album Ashes & Fire.