Home > News & Reviews > Dan Bettridge

Dan Bettridge - St Donats Arts Centre - July 13 2013 (Live Review)

Monday, 15 July 2013 Written by Dave Ball

Nestled on the coast, around 20 miles west of Cardiff, St Donats Arts Centre is rarely used as a venue for live music but, luckily, Dan Bettridge isn't your typical 19-year-old singer-songwriter. 

Selecting this unique, beautiful location for one of his biggest shows to date is just the next step in a career that is beginning to arc upwards at an ever greater speed following the January release of his debut EP 'Hunter's Heart', which earned radio play from the likes of Dermot O'Leary and Bethan Elfyn. 

Bettridge calls upon three local support acts for the show, with a nervous Nick Griffiths playing mostly covers in his 25 minute set. A pair of his own tracks provide the highlights though, and show real potential, particularly closing number The Teaching.

Dan Fairhurst is up next and, backed by double bass and drums, his sound is reminiscent of early Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. His songs jump between different tempos and off kilter beats and his forthcoming EP should be well worth a listen.

Following the high standard that went before him, Lloyd Jerwood's set is a little up and down. Self-penned number Fun & Games hints at plenty of talent, while the instrumental Lenses is a quite remarkable track played solo on an acoustic guitar sat flat on his lap. A cover of Tom Petty's Free Fallin' and some of the later songs don't reach these early heights, but his ability as both a songwriter and guitarist are evident.

Bettridge takes the stage just after 9:30, and is greeted by sweltering heat. Suffering from sunstroke, and clearly nervous, his initial conversation with the audience is a little awkward, but as soon as he starts singing it's like a different soul has taken over his body. Opening up with Untitled, the capacity crowd are completely engrossed as he bounces between tracks from Hunter's Heart and a range of new songs from his sophomore EP 'Darker Days'.

The bluesy Days Of Ours is an early highlight, while new track Rosie Darling emphasises the vast talent this young man has. This is not some flash in the pan, his songwriting is already at a level well beyond his years. Wolves & Ghosts is the type of single that could be the radio friendly hit he will need to take his career up to the next level, and shows he can do up-tempo songs just as impressively as he does the slower, more subtle acoustic tracks.

A cover of the Steeldrivers' If It Hadn't Been For Love and new track Just For Fun are delivered with the vocal confidence of a veteran bluesman playing in a smoky club somewhere in the deep south of America, belying the almost painful shyness demonstrated in between songs.

For his encore, Bettridge forgoes his guitars and is joined by the producer of his new EP on piano for title track Darker Days, a fabulously tender piece with the sort of heartbreaking lyrics normally penned by artists a decade or more his senior. This is a night filled with the sense of witnessing an artist not far from becoming something much bigger, and there's a suspicion that there won't be too many more chances to see Bettridge playing shows this intimate. 


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

No related news to show
< Prev   Next >