Skip to main content

6th November 2017

Live Review: Beth Ditto

Performing tracks from her debut solo album, Beth Ditto stole the show with grit and Southern charm

Tuesday 17th October, Albert Hall

The title track ‘Fake Sugar’ combined a minimalist electronic beat with reverbed guitars to make a pretty country song. ‘Ooh La La’ was a rock n’ roll stomp. Percussive drums, fuzzy bass and piano keys were all slammed together to make a high point of the show.

Yet her performance suffered from the same problem as the new album. Quite a few songs felt like lesser versions of other tracks on the album. ‘In And Out’ felt like a lesser version of ‘Fire’. ‘Lover’ felt like a lesser version of ‘Clouds (Song for John)’. This is not to say that they are bad songs, per se, but why would you play on the swings when you could go to Disneyland?

All this fell away when classic Gossip songs were played. Songs such as ‘Love Long Distance’ and ‘Standing At The Edge Of Control’, which Ditto nailed with her killer vocals, made the crowd freak out with excitement.

One of the most surprising things about Ditto’s show was not the music, but her candidness. After finishing ‘Control’, she talked frankly about her fears for the future. “When Gossip put out ‘Control’, I was 24. I’m now 37. I was gonna be a hairdresser in Arkansas and now I’m here”. She added that if this album and tour hadn’t gone well, she would have called it quits.

It was hard not to be moved by this cathartic declaration, and clearly the crowd felt the same way. After the next song was wrapping up, the audience response was so thunderous that Beth realised that the audience was applauding her honestly. She broke down in tears. She was overjoyed!

Many things happen at gigs. It is rare to see someone on stage say something so honest, so beautifully. It was clear that Ditto would genuinely treasure this night, and so would we.


More Coverage

Parklife 2023: What to expect from the dance, electronic, and drum and bass stages

The Mancunion gives a rundown on some of the drum and bass and dance stages for Parklife 2023

Live review: Arctic Monkeys @ Emirates Old Trafford 03/06/23

Arctic Monkeys cement their legendary status with back-to-back bangers on their stadium tour

Dope Lemon rides a Rose Pink Cadillac to Albert Hall

Dope Lemon, one of Australia’s most exciting indie artists, is stopping by Albert Hall as part of his European tour

Live Review: Caroline Polachek at Albert Hall

Caroline Polachek stuns a sold-out Albert in her rescheduled show, touring her second solo album Desire, I Want To Turn Into You.