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Beth Orton says her fans deserve ‘unique’ Norfolk show

PUBLISHED: 09:50 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:42 24 August 2020

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton from Lyng in East Dereham is preparing to play two socially distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells-next-to-sea this August.  Picture: Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration Company/Nick Butcher

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton from Lyng in East Dereham is preparing to play two socially distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells-next-to-sea this August. Picture: Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration Company/Nick Butcher

Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration Company/Nick Butcher

Beth Orton says she feels an extra responsibility to give her fans a great show as she prepares for a special socially-distanced gig off the Norfolk coast.

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton from Lyng in East Dereham best known for her ‘folktronica’ is preparing to play two socially distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells-next-to-sea this August.  Picture: Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration CompanyEnglish singer-songwriter Beth Orton from Lyng in East Dereham best known for her ‘folktronica’ is preparing to play two socially distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells-next-to-sea this August. Picture: Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration Company

The singer-songwriter, from 
Lyng, best known for her “folktronica”, is preparing to play two socially-distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells later this month.

She played the gig partnered with Coastal Exploration Company last year, with a small fleet of five refurbished north Norfolk fishing boats being used as the stage and venue.

The gigs, on August 30 and 31, will be the only two live concerts she’ll perform this year – and she is aware this might be some people’s only chance to listen to live music this year.

“I feel for the people coming,” she said. “I want to make it special as this could be there only time they go out and listen to live music.

English singer-songwriter Beth Orton from Lyng in East Dereham best known for her ‘folktronica’ is preparing to play two socially distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells-next-to-sea this August.  Picture: Jo Metson ScottEnglish singer-songwriter Beth Orton from Lyng in East Dereham best known for her ‘folktronica’ is preparing to play two socially distant gigs on the salt marsh in Wells-next-to-sea this August. Picture: Jo Metson Scott

“That is heartbreaking.”

Supported by her husband, folk singer Sam Amidon, they will play for around 26 people each night.

“It is scary, as there are no lights to hide behind,” she said.

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“But, for me, it’s the most unique – you could go to the O2 and watch a big band and buy a t-shirt and a tote bag, but an experience like this will stay with you, it’s incredibly unique.”

For the singer, playing in her home county is always an amazing experience.

She said: “When it comes to a beautiful fishing boat in the middle of the marsh there is no place I’d rather be. It’s quintessential Norfolk.”

However, she does realise that this is an extreme way to make a gig happen.

The gigs on the salt Marshes take place on August 30 and 31 and will be the only two live concerts Beth Orton will perform this year. Picture: Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration CompanyThe gigs on the salt Marshes take place on August 30 and 31 and will be the only two live concerts Beth Orton will perform this year. Picture: Peter Naylor and Coastal Exploration Company

“We have to start thinking outside the box in a way to bring people together safely,” she said.

“It is very difficult and it draws attention to how far we have to go to reach people in a live environment.”

Despite the excitement for the gig, Mrs Orton said she cannot wait for more places to open up.

“I cannot wait for venues to reopen and get back on their feet, that is so important,” she said.

Beth Orton performing at Latitude 2013.Beth Orton performing at Latitude 2013.

“I can’t wait to play a dingy rock club for a fiver. Live music really matters and live music is taking a real battering.”


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