Award-winning artist and songwriter Beth Orton, and a group of female artists from across the region, will open the festival with a performance of brand new works created on a five-day residency at Leeds College of Music. This is part of Both Sides Now – a pioneering initiative from music charity Brighter Sound to support, inspire and champion women in music across the North of England. The residency will see the artists explore songwriting techniques through collaboration, culminating in a unique one-off performance.
Beth Orton is one of the most unique and beguiling voices in British music. Over two decades she has proved herself to be a peerless artist able to effortlessly bridge the previously unseen musical gaps between the Chemical Brothers and Bert Jansch. Pairing her inimitable voice to a synthesis of electronic and acoustic instruments, Beth started out as both an outlier for the nascent UK folk revival and a one of the few recognisable faces at the forefront of the mid ’90s dance scene. She earned a Mercury nomination with her first album ‘Trailer Park’ and won the Brit Award for Best British Female Artist with the follow up, ‘Central Reservation’.
Throughout her career, Beth has consistently challenged perceptions of her music - both as a solo artist and in collaboration with musicians and producers as diverse as Four Tet, Terry Callier, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Marr and Nick Cave. Her stunning sixth album ‘Kidsticks’ was co-produced with Andrew Hung of experimental electronic noise band Fuck Buttons. Hailed as a triumph, it was described by Music OMH as “comfortably among the best things she’s ever done. A delightful return.”