Beth Orton @ Asagiri Jam – It’s A Beautiful Day! (Oct. 13th, 2013)

Sweet simplicity
Live Report – “Beth Orton : Sweet simplicity” @ Asagiri Jam – It’s A Beautiful Day! 2013.10.12

Beth Orton

Sunday on the Rainbow stage was quite an energetic affair with rock and ska being the main genres featured. Sandwiched in between Japanese indie pop/rock outfit Clammbon and the power packed ska of the Trojans was British singer/songwriter Beth Orton. Although the promoters are quick to tell everyone that she has done collaborations with The Chemical Brothers and William Orbit, this performance had nothing at all to do with electronic music and was all about her going back to basics and showing the big crowd that you don’t need a lot of instruments to move people.

Beth OrtonWith just her voice, her guitar and the ever changing colours of Mt. Fuji in the background, she succeeded very successfully in achieving this with an utterly relaxing yet moving performance. Even if the majority of the audience couldn’t understand her thought invoking lyrics, the mood the music generated was fantastic for people who needed a bit of a rest after the intense sun that filled the Asagiri highlands on Sunday. It seemed like other people probably thought the relatively quite sonic space was a good chance to focus more seriously on throwing their frisbee or play leapfrog.

Beth OrtonThis is only the second time that she has come to Japan to play live and the last time she was here was 13 years ago so this was a rare opportunity indeed for her fans to see the sweet melodies she weaves so gracefully. What made her performance at Asagiri even more special was that aside from one other show in Tokyo, it was the only time she would play in Japan on this visit. Most of the tunes on her albums are accompanied by piano, understated electronic effects and drums but for me, it is the more reserved tracks like the title song off “Comfort of Strangers,” which showcase her soothing voice and expressive capacity with her guitar. The song which best embodies the subtle sensibility with which her set progressed is the closing track “Mystery” from her first album in 6 years, which came out in 2012, “Sugaring Season.”

Beth Orton

–>Photo Report or Kodama Kazufumi with 1945 a.k.a.Kuranaka

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Photos:
Taio Konishi
taio@smashingmag.net
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Text:
Ben Olah


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