Beth Jeans Houghton embraced Glastonbury’s Park stage in 2010, ranking her name alongside Florence & The Machine, Kate Nash and a whole host of other female artists who weren’t afraid to break the rules. Following the natural order of the industry I then anticipated an album release and for her to become a household name before the year was out. Alas, it was not to follow and despite the Lexington being busy tonight I cannot help but feel that Beth is a big star, trapped on a tiny stage.
‘Saturn could float on water, if you could get water in the air’ she remarks, and this and a long conversation about a bandmate Blazey’s dream of having a whale like blow hole is just some of the mid set banter that tumbles from her lips. Combined with a one piece tiger suit, quirky might be an understatement as far as Beth is concerned, and it come as no surprise that within minutes her fusion of math-pop meets folk combined with idiosyncratic lyrics and operatic vocals fill the room.
With her debut album ‘Yours Truly Cellophane Nose’ due for release in early 2012, and next single Liliput (a mix of soothing vocals over rousing melodies) due in November, tonight sees a somewhat reserved crowd slowly lose their inhibition, a phenomenon which might spread to the rest of the population as Beth begins to make her name. Whilst Shampoo and Telephone (or, ‘I want you so much I want to eat my own hands brackets telephone’) are solid numbers it’s Night Swimmer and I Will Return I Promise, which really account for what Beth is all about. Meanwhile the false start at the beginning of latest single Dodecahedron, simply serves to confirm that despite a plethora of talent, there’s a humble nature to Beth, both in sound and manner.
Rounding off the evening with a cover of Madonna’s Like A Prayer and a prize for the best dancer, it’s clear Beth likes to have fun, both on stage and in her music. With X Factor back upon us, and a summer of endless synth pop where every band seems to have blurred into one, Beth is a refreshing reminder that original music is not yet dead.