Beth Rowley @ 12 Bar Club 25th July 2012

I had been a fan of Beth Rowley’s music ever since 2008 when début album Little Dreamer was released. However I never witnessed her perform live and this evening at 12 Bar Club was special in the sense this was an intimate venue. I was tempted to attend the date at Komedia in Brighton but that (along with the whole tour) got pulled. This date wasn’t heavily plugged which resulted in only 20 advance tickets being sold. By the time Rowley was on stage the place was full of people.

After some technical difficulties Beth Rowley kick started her set around 9.40pm with a track from Little Dreamer and this being Nobody’s Fault But Mine. Originally a song by Blind Willie Johnson back in 1927 Beth Rowley delivered this cover superbly. The vocals were powerful and you could sense the soul that flowed from it. “Good evening, I should say hello. My name’s Beth Rowley and I want to thank you all for coming down” Beth then said when introducing herself to the audience. Wretched Body was a strong steady pace soul song which sounded spectacular. “This next song is a Mahalia Jackson song. It’s one of my favourites” Beth said before tackling It’s My Desire. Rowley’s version left me speechless. The soul/ gospel vibe was the perfect combination for this song. “This is a song I wrote about a year ago with a guy called Ron Sexsmith. It’s going to be on my new album which is coming out early next year” Rowley mentioned to the intimate audience. Forest Fire was a spectacular song and the vocals were strong. This tune had a steady pace. Even though this was a new song it is on the internet but by a band called Temple Street. Sun Might Fall was then the next song of the evening. Now I rather liked this tune. I picked up on a slight country vibe. “This next song is called Only One Cloud and it’s from my 1st album” Beth then said. Only One Cloud had a blues vibe to it which sounded extraordinary. “This next song is called That Boy. This is a new song. We haven’t done it just the 2 of us before” Beth then mentioned before another new cut from the new album and this being That Boy. The pace was slightly smooth but this song was delivered to perfection. Also the harmonising was phenomenal. “This next song is a Captain Beefheart song. I’m a massive Captain Beefheart fan” Rowley said before tackling So Glad. Now Beth’s take on this song was quite something. She made this tune her own. “This is another favourite gospel tune of mine” she then said before leaving me speechless when delivering Somebody Bigger to perfection. This song was another cover but the soulfulness was oozing from it. Beth Rowley had impeccable vocals. “This next one is another one I wrote with Ron Sexsmith. I got to write with him about a week non stop” Beth said before another new track and this being Brother. This again features on the internet sung by a band called Temple Street. Now this song was incredible. The lyrics were superb and Beth delivered them sublimely. “This is the last one” Rowley said before signing off with Sirens. As much as I enjoyed what was performed on the night this had to be my favourite song. I look forward to hearing the mastered version of it. Beth then went to leave the stage only for people to shout for more. Rowley then came back and ended with another soulful tune from Little Dreamer and this being Almost Persuaded.

SET LIST

Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Wretched Body
It’s My Desire
Forest Fire
Sun Might Fall
Only One Cloud
That Boy
So Glad
Somebody Bigger
Brother
Sirens

ENCORE

Almost Persuaded

OVERALL: This was the first time I had witnessed Beth Rowley perform live and I was left blown away by how spectacular she actually was. The new songs that were performed were sheer brilliance and I look forward to hearing the mastered recordings. I especially liked Sirens.

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