Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not Least @ Latitude - Part 7 - Beth Jeans Houghton

You may perchance have thought that I had come to the end of my thoughts on Latitude 2010.  It is not so, I have simply been diverted by other things. Here are some more that I regarded as highlights.
I have mentioned Pete Paphides' praise of Beth Jeans Houghton at Field Day 2010.   I first saw her live at EOTR 2009 and again at Latitude 2010 and all this is still before the release of her début album; before the end of the year?   Yes, she was a star in the really rather basic, but also rather good, Live @ The Local tent at EOTR 2009 but the potential was quite obvious and I was there to watch and comment. Even so I would not then have suspected that she would headline the Lake Stage on Sunday at Latitude 2010.

The fact of the matter is this: even if her stage persona might have visibly changed as an artist she has not, except for becoming even better at what she does.  The new songs, along with one or two from the 2009 'Hot Toast - Volume 1 EP', destined for the forthcoming album were impressive.  The other point to note is this: when it comes to relating to a live audience she just has that skill so naturally - and it works both ways.  There were plenty there who had never seen her live, possibly never even heard of her before. She got the great majority of them on-board without them even noticing the trick - one that is worth its weight in gold - and you tend never to forget anything, or anyone, that can do that.

I went straight from her performance to see Vampire Weekend headline on the Obelisk Stage, so could she possibly get away with the comparison?

Quite probably she could and Vampire Weekend has it too: it is not just about the music, however good that may be, it is about the presence.  Artists that don't have it are, at least to me, underwhelming when live almost regardless of any other relevant considerations.
 It was a well deserved vote of confidence I believe.
The closing song was one from the aforementioned CD-EP  and it was 'I Will Return, I Promise' - and against that assertion it is now very hard to argue.  It might, however, be on a rather larger stage.
Vampire Weekend certainly didn't disappoint either.

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