I must admit that I came to see Beth Hart at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Saturday evening with no real knowledge about either the woman herself, or her music.
I’d heard a couple of tracks she’d recorded with the guitarist Joe Bonamassa, but that was about it.
I left the venue with a determination to explore and listen to her music. I expect she has that effect on many gig goers.
It would appear that my lack of knowledge about Beth Hart puts me firmly in a minority as the gig was a sell out, with a very appreciative audience of fans present, all eager with anticipation.
From the opening number it was obvious that Beth Hart does not disappoint. She gives it her all, with a very powerful, full on, raw and honest performance.
There are no flashy stage sets, or lightning effects, just a classy show from start to finish, an hour and a half later.
Ably backed by her three piece band, Beth Hart took us through a variety of musical styles, from Rock to Blues, from Jazz to Country, and several stops in between.
It wasn’t long before her striking red dress, combined with black high heel shoes, was starting to darken with sweat.
She works hard for her money.
A few songs in and Beth Hart was walking into the seated audience singing as she went, something she is apparently well known for.
Apart from the great songs, we were treated to the stories behind many of those compositions.
Those stories were of drug taking, abuse, self harm and the darker side of her past life, plus her subsequent religious conversion and her current faith.
There was no holding back here.
The songs lyrics were honest to the extreme, especially during a two song solo slot at the piano.
Those songs ‘Saint Teresa’ and ‘Leave The Light On’ were stunning, and reduced my friend to tears, they were that powerful.
Apart from a great backing band, a bucketful of stage presence and real confidence, Beth Hart also has a voice that many would kill for.
Comparisons with the likes of Janis Joplin are well justified.
The time flew by and all too soon the final song of the night, appropriately enough, ‘No Place Like Home’ ended the evenings entertainment, and entertainment it most certainly was.
The whole audience were on their feet, giving a well deserved and lengthy standing ovation.
I overheard many comments after the show about how impressed people were with the gig, and her performance, something I’d whole heartedly endorse.
For me this show was an unexpected pleasure, and goes to show that just because you don’t know much about the artist performing on the night, it can be well worth taking a chance and going along.
Sometimes, like tonight, you strike gold.
For more info about Beth Hart, check out her official website at: bethhart.com