For a tiny slip of a thing, Beth Jeans Houghton has some huge things going for her. An engaging and big personality that would loathe me for those first seven words for a start. A talented band, with probably the best name of the genre, who are very much under her whip hand.
She made an immense impression at The Great Escape with what I could only describe as her semi-operatic voice. It’s extraordinary. Emerging from under her up-piled of blonde hair it probably didn’t even need amplification, and if you take a look at her photos there’s no shortage of diva poses. Yet, despite this, she’s happy to chat with you and the band. At one stage she got her bassist to recount a story of a drunk pissing himself. So her feet are firmly on the floor.
Although her music has been described as alt-folk or anti-folk it struck me as being rollicking sea-shanties, which is in the same area but it’s a lot more sociable. Frankly it’s also a much jollier sound than your average folky; anti or pro.
The Hooves drive it all along at a fair old pace. And that voice; it adds a power from a world beyond.