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Beth Hart, with support from Colin James, Royal Festival Hall, London, 23 November 2016

Review by : Kalli Isborne 

Pics by: Laurence Harvey

It’s not often I get to go to a gig at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, so I was looking forward to this evening. Those of you that are familiar with Beth Hart will know she has a fabulous voice, so how good will she sound with the acoustics at this classic venue?  

Colin James was the artist opening for Beth this evening, the Canadian songster serenading us with 45 minutes of his folksy blues. Vocally clear and musically tight this was an enjoyable set.

After a short interval, where we were served ice-creams, Beth Harts show began. As the first song begins the audience erupts with applause as Beth starts her set in the stalls with the audience. There clearly are some die-hard Beth Hart fans in the stalls this evening, as Beth greets them like old friends.  The song finishes and we suddenly realise that there has been a slight hitch with this evenings proceeding, somebody forgot the front of stage stairs, not to worry, Beth heaves herself onto the stage like a pro. By Can’t Let Go, Beth has the crowd dancing in the aisles, they love her.

Bang Bang Boom Boom has Beth showing off her musical talents, as she plays the piano as well as singing. She stays at the piano for the next two songs, including I’ll Take Care of You, which has the crowd clapping along and singing back lines at Beth.

Trouble has Beth back at the forefront of the stage, this up tempo number allows Beth to woo the audience with her voice, and wow what a voice, there is nothing to fault with her or her band musically. Beth dedicates Fat Man to Mr Trump, before losing her pick within the first few bars of the next song.

The tempo slows down for St Teresa before Beth returns to the piano for a few tribute songs to her producer and sister. The backing band exit the stage for Leave the Light on,  this is an audience favourite. The band return for Delicious Surprise, as does the tempo and sing backs from the audience. For Waterfalls, Beth returns back to the stalls for plenty of selfies and photos with them, but still nobody has located the front of stage steps.

The set finishes with Tell Her You belong To Me, a poignant song about her Dad leaving the family for another woman. This results in a standing ovation as Beth and the band leave the stage. 

Beth returns for the encore solo, performing Fire on the Floor, Mama This One’s for You and Take it Easy on Me for the appreciative crowd. The band returns for I’d Rather Go Blind, which is clearly another crowd favourite and resulting in the second standing ovation of the evening.

It’s hard to find fault with this evenings concert, but there was something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. Musically and vocally Beth Hart was perfect, and for fan club members that have been to a lot of Beth’s shows it was clearly an enjoyable occasion, but to put it simply I was a bit bored and I don’t know why. Perhaps it is because this is a seated show, or maybe it just not my type of concert, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of the audience. Maybe I just need to go to another one of Beth’s shows to compare.  

Set List

Don’t Explain
If I Tell You I Love You
Can’t Let Go
Bang Bang Boom Boom
Love is a Lie
I’ll Take Care Of You
Trouble
Lifts You up
Fat Man
Unknown
St Teresa
Good day To Cry
Sister Heroine
Leave the Light On
Delicious Surprise
Waterfalls
Tell Her You belong To Me

Fire on the Floor
Mama This One’s for You
Take it Easy on Me
I’d Rather Go Blind

Tell Us How You Feel

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