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Bands in town: The best UK rock tours to check out this month

Beth Hart, Biffy Clyro and Northern Irish songwriter Foy Vance are among the best UK rock tours you can head down to this month

Beth Hart

It’s a red-hot return for the Californian blues singer, who embarks on seven UK dates on November 11th in Birmingham

How did you enjoy your first ever one-woman show, which you played last December at the Union Chapel in London?

I was absolutely terrified. Before going on I was cursing my manager for booking that show, but after five songs I relaxed and had a wonderful time.

On this upcoming tour, you’re playing at London’s Royal Festival Hall – a pillar of the English establishment, no less.

[Laughs] In terms of playing bigger venues I’m an old dog and I’ve done this a long time. I know a lot of selling out those places is down to luck. Sometimes people like you, sometimes they don’t show up. That has no bearing on who you are morally or artistically.

You sang with Jeff Beck at his recent show at the Hollywood Bowl. Will he be on the guest list for your London show?

I make a point of not knowing whether or not Jeff is coming. His presence makes me so nervous – I’m really not worthy.

With Waddy Wachtel, Michael Landau and Dean Parks, among others, it’s quite a band you have on the new record, Fire On The Floor.

How unbelievably honoured am I? I wanted a badass band that would play the songs live [in the studio]. Oliver Leiber [the album’s producer] put together that line-up, and we made the record in three days, without even a day of rehearsal.

Is it going to be tough for you to sing Picture In A Frame on stage?

When I started writing that song it was about my husband, but I realised… [choked and brimming with tears]… there was a connection to Michael [Stevens], who died of cancer after producing my last record. So I don’t know whether I’ll do that one live.

Last summer you told usthat you were fifteen years drug-free but still prone to bouts of binge drinking.

I have a miracle to tell you about. The binge drinking was an obsession. We had moved into a new house, and I was on my knees in the back yard. I asked God to throw me a bone. His voice told me to go to a church down the street. After every Sunday for a month the spirit of God entered my body. The Pastor taught me how to stop hating myself. I’m now a year and nine months not only without a drink, but also without a desire to drink. Otherwise I would be dead.

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