‘Quirky, engaging and really rather brilliant’
Beth Porter is already a well-known session ‘cellist on the UK folk music scene – she plays and
sings with Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band and her own Red Carousel String Quartet. A
songwriter in her own right, she is one half of The Bookshop Band with her husband Ben Please –
conceived nine years ago at multi-award winning independent bookshop Mr B’s Emporium of
Reading Delights in Bath. Marshes is the name for her new incarnation of Beth Porter And The
Recorded before her daughter Molly was born, (now two), Beth has waited on an Indiegogo
campaign and a new signing to Endearingly Ramshackle to release an album of charmingly
orchestrated songs with full band, strings, wind and brass.
The record involves many previous band collaborators including Jools Scott on piano (The
Duckworths) Emma Hooper on Viola (Waitress for the Bees) and producer Luke Cawthra has
brought a cool sound, warmth and clarity to the songs from his studio in Clifton, Bristol.
Among the songs themselves are woven themes of mental health – anxiety, fear and isolation.
You’ve Always Been reflects on the person that is always there behind the darkness and cloud.
In Dreams of You, Beth writes of a childhood experience about a friend who had depression – in a
time before there was any clear labelling for those dark places – and she felt she may have let her
down by not ‘being there’. Prompted by the dreams, she got in touch years later to see if she was
‘My own unwelcome companion has been anxiety and panic which I’ve had as long as I can
remember and it manifests itself in different ways – mostly in performing and driving. This terror
that I have experienced while driving has inspired the song Rear View. Once these memory
pathways get in our heads, they are very hard to reverse’
As a musician, Beth Porter is known for her versatility, sensitivity, and ability to create beautiful,
intuitive and supportive ‘cello lines for songwriters, folk, rock and pop music, among them, Peter
Gabriel, Newton Faulkner, Jackie Oates, The Proclaimers and Petula Clark and she has
appeared on over eighty albums.
Having recently returned from America with The Bookshop band, Marshes will tour When The
Lights Are Bright throughout April and May.
Beth is one of the contributors of The Lost Words Spell Songs, a new musical companion piece to
Robert MacFarlane’s book, The Lost Words. It brings together eight remarkable musicians:
Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Kerry Andrew, Rachel Newton, Jim
Molyneux and Beth who between them unfold the dreams and songs living within the pages of the
book. They will appear at the Hay festival in May.
Having nurtured her musical connections in South West England, Beth and her family are now
based in Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland, which provided the inspiration for the new
name, Marshes. Two singles will be released ahead of the album; Frame is out on April 12 followed
by Who We Are on May 3.