It’s been almost two years since Beth Hart last blew the roof of St David’s Hall and like the recent visit by Storm Ciara, her power and intensity looked likely to cause an equal damage with a truly powerful and quite extraordinary performance.
She’s come quite some way since playing clubs in LA at the tender age of 15 and her battles with drug addiction and her bi-polar disorder are well documented and could have easily destroyed what would become a stellar career for a women who possesses such a voice that you be hard-pressed to find the equal anywhere.
Fortunately Hart’s beaten off her demons to reclaim a place amongst her peers as one of best singer/songwriters currently hitting the boards and a vocalist with frightening power and range’ and be it a whisper or a scream, it always sends a shiver down your spine.
Never one to hide her issues, much of her material deals with her life that she often lays bare in a song and whether it be her despair at her father leaving at a very young age or relationships and mental health it’s so refreshing to hear her story, warts and all.
Opening with ‘Lullaby Of The Leaves’ and accompanied by long-time guitarist Jon Nichols it was a slightly subdued start with a smoky bar room feel as Hart loosened the vocal chords in preparation for what was to come. Almost two hours of quality Beth Hart.
With Tom Lilly on Bass and Bill Ransom, drums, the band’s support to the voice was perfection with no overblown soloing just a supreme appreciation for the songs, all played and sounding effortless.
Whilst they could rock out with the best, the highlight of the evening was a stripped down, more acoustic version of the band with a feature being Tilly on the double bass and Hart on piano especially the gentle ‘Without Words In The Way.’
Other highlights from a stunning set included a very Bond theme-like ‘Rub Me For Luck’, ‘Sister Dear’ and the soulful ‘Woman Down’,
Not one to hide her emotions whether it be pain, loss or regret Hart’s passion for what she does and the support she obviously cherishes is very evident in the way she performs and the way she engages with her audience, all of whom would agree, Beth Hart, in concert, is not to be missed.