366 Songs 041: It’s Not The Spotlight

I first saw Beth Orton back when she was singing with Red Snapper, way back in the mid 1990s, and I remember very, very clearly leaving the venue and she was standing outside, leaning against a car smoking and me just completely being smitten by her in that moment, as random as that may sound. It was that memory, that smittenness, that led me to pick up her first single and album and become as equally – if not more – smitten with her folk revival sound than the way she looked post-gig, grumpy and trying to ignore the crowds wandering past her in a cold Glasgow alleyway. It’s not that she was doing anything particularly special or original, but just the sound of her voice and simplicity of her arrangements that sounded especially fresh in the dying days of Britpop. “It’s Not The Spotlight” shows off what I liked best about her output at that time – the covers that stripped back brassier pop tunes and remade them as something quieter and more beautiful. Even now, years after I’ve pretty much stopped paying attention to her career that closely, things like this still send slight chills up and down my spine.