Beth Hart – Barbican, London – 8th May 2015

The night opened with Irishman Miles Graham.  He performs doing vocals and playing acoustic guitar, and has two musicians with him, one on the Cajon (a box shaped drum that the drummer sits on as he plays), and one on bass.  His set is very good – a classic singer-songwriter style, and he talks to the audience a lot between songs, telling them about himself.  For some of the songs the bassist puts the bass down and Miles hands him the guitar to play, leaving Miles to concentrate on vocals.  It’s a great set that ends with a cover of the Hall & Oates song “Maneater”.

Photo: John Bull -
Photo: John Bull –

Beth Hart took to the stage to huge applause and immediately ran to the piano.  She greeted the audience and said that she wanted to start things off quietly, so she sat down and performed the first song solo.  What can I say other than WOW?  Her voice is simply amazing, and she sings with a passionate bluesy voice as she plays – it’s absolutely spellbinding stuff and this is just the first song.
After that the band joined her and kicked things up a notch.  As the band come on stage she introduces them all individually, something she does several times during the set, showing how keen she is that they get the recognition they deserve.  Beth Hart has so much energy and enthusiasm that she can’t stand still and sing, but instead spends much of the time prowling around the stage, dancing and generally having a fun time.
Beth has a superbly versatile voice and the set includes slow soulful numbers where her voice carries so much emotion, but then when it comes to the rockier numbers such as “Nutbush city limits” she’s able to belt them out with lots of power.  She’s not just an amazing singer though – she plays piano for quite a few songs and also plays acoustic guitar for several songs.  More importantly though she’s also a superb songwriter and really bares her soul in the lyrics as she sings about her life.
When she talks to the audience between songs she’s amazingly frank and open as she talks about her life and the events or people in her that inspired the songs, and that really endears her to the audience.

The early start time to the set meant that Beth was able to put in a nice long performance – including the encore she played for around two hours.  That’s two hours of absoultely top class entertainment.  It may only be May but I think I may well have just seen the best gig of the year.

Beth Hart’s tour ends with shows in Cambridge and Nottingham.

Photo: John Bull -
Photo: John Bull –


Tickets: £25.00, £28.50 / Box Office: 0844 871 8819
Venue Box Office: 01223 357851
Book Online:
2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QB


Tickets: £23.50 / Box Office: 0844 871 8819
Book Online:
Venue Box Office: 0845 413 4444
8 Talbot Street, Nottingham, NG1 5GG

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.