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Beth Hart - Corn Exchange, Cambridge - 11th May 2015 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Beth Hart - Corn Exchange, Cambridge - 11th May 2015



Tonight was my second time seeing Beth Hart on her current UK tour, and after her stunning performance in London I was really looking forward to tonight's show in Cambridge.

Before Beth Hart though was the support act - Miles Graham. As with the London date it's a fairly simple setup with him singing and playing acoustic guitar while accompanied by a bassist and drummer using a Cajon. While it may be a simple setup it sounds great and he's clearly got a bright future ahead of him.

Beth Hart takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride, with slow emotion-filled songs being followed by the soaring heights of the rockier numbers such as "Nutbush city limits". It's an unpredictable ride too - Beth stuck to the setlist tonight for just one song before deciding to play something different on the spur of the moment. That was a theme repeated several times during the night which required a few quick guitar changes for her band as she changed what she had planned.
At one point she said she'd come to the part of the show where she'd play a ballad but wasn't sure which to do, and as she mentioned the names of a few of the one's she'd considered, "Leave a light on" got a lot of cheers so she decided to play that.
For the final song of the set, her husband came over to hand her an acoustic guitar, but was waved away as she said "Lets do something rocky instead", and moments later launched into a storming version of "Nutbush city limits" which was an incredible high to end the set with.

The acoustic guitar was used though - when they came back out for the encore, Beth sat down and played a couple of songs on the guitar including a beautiful version of "St Teresa", before she returned to the piano for "Better than home". After that, the band left the stage and Beth performed "Baddest blues" solo, singing and playing the piano. A wonderful end to a fantastic night.

Special mention has to go to her band - they're all clearly very talented musicians and all get a chance to shine. They obviously have to know how to play pretty much any song Beth Hart has written or sung since she can throw something random into the set at the last second simply because fans shouted out for it, leaving the band little time to react to the change of plans.

Beth Hart really is an amazing performer - she's got one of the best voices I've ever heard, she writes beautiful emotion filled and deeply personal songs, and she clearly loves performing and feeds off the energy of the crowd, changing the set based on what she feels like playing and what she thinks the audience want to hear. She's also a very versatile performer and along with the Blues she throws in some more soulful songs, a bit of a Gospel feel and some rock. It means that while some bands play the same show every night of the tour, with Beth Hart you could happily go to every show on the tour and hear a different show every night.

Beth Hart finishes her UK tour with a date at Rock City in Nottingham on 13th May.


Writer: Anthony May
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