We are delighted to announce that Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Beth Hart has added DLWP to her October/November 2021 UK tour.
Beth Hart is as real as it gets. In a music industry full of glossy production and airbrushed photos, this is one artist who throws down her cards, shares her darkest secrets and invites you to join her for the ride. With War In My Mind, this Grammy-nominated talent has never served herself up so raw on a record, one that embraces her merits and flaws, channels her bittersweet headspace and spins gold from her demons. “More than any record I’ve ever made, I’m more open to being myself on these songs,” Beth explains. “I’ve come a long way with healing. I’m comfortable with my darknesses, weirdnesses and things that I’m ashamed of, as well as all the things that make me feel good.”
At 47 – and proud of it – Beth is basking in a golden period. The success of 2016’s Fire On The Floor album has garnered yet more critical acclaim, growing sales and sold-out shows at iconic venues from the Ryman Auditorium to the Royal Albert Hall (scene of last year’s triumphant live DVD). But as the singer reminds us, her life has always moved in cycles – “things get good then go to crap, get good then go to crap” – and it’s in these extremes that many of her best songs are born. “A lot of subjects are covered on War In My Mind,” she reflects. “I’ve always tried to seek the truth on every record I’ve done. But on this album, I’m even closer to vulnerability and openness about my life, about love, addiction, my bipolar, my dad, my sister…”
New fans might know Beth as the all-conquering global icon, dubbed “extraordinary” by The Times and “daring, brooding and angry” by The Guardian. To understand her rollercoaster backstory, you need only read the War In My Mind lyric sheet. Highs and lows alike are candidly recounted as the songwriter reaches back through the decades and tells her tale without flinching. There are memories from her ’70s childhood in Los Angeles, where Beth announced her musical talent and renegade spirit, while rolling with the punches of a chaotic upbringing – about the loss of her beloved sister, Sharon – about the personal problems that derailed what should have been her major-label breakthrough in the mid-’90s – about her collaboration with blues-rock maestro Joe Bonamassa – about the redemption offered by her husband Scott, and the rebirth she found through the church.
War In My Mind also wraps up a frustrating strand of unfinished business for Beth. Back in 2003, the heavyweight producer Rob Cavallo was in the frame to mix the singer’s Leave The Light On album. “But the producer I was with at the time,” recounts Beth, “went ahead without my approval, turned the mix in to Rob – and he passed.” Fast-forward 15 years, and at a chance dinner party attended by the Green Day and My Chemical Romance producer, fate intervened. “I’d just written the songs Rub Me For Luck, Woman Down and Sister Dear, about my sister Susan,” Beth remembers. “The host wanted me to play them on piano, and I thought people would prefer me to just sit, eat and zip it, but in the end, I just said, ‘OK, frick it’. After I’d played them, Rob came up and said, ‘You’ve grown a lot as a songwriter – and I want to record these songs with you’. And he turned out to be one of the coolest people that I’ve ever worked with.”
The immersive sound of War In My Mind is visceral and alive, every song a testament to Cavallo’s production smarts – and the golden touch of mix engineer Doug McKean. “But actually,” counters Beth, “I think one of Rob’s greatest talents is that he completely allows artists to have their own vision. Never once did I have anything disappointing happen to one of these songs.”
The sleeve shot of Beth pounding a piano below her own personal storm cloud is a fitting representation of new material that hits like a force of nature. Opening with a gospel chant and irresistible groove, Bad Woman Blues is the anti-love song. “I wrote that with Rune Westberg,” she says, “whom I’ve written with on and off for years. It’s about a woman who doesn’t have any interest whatsoever in being good, because she knows she’s not. But instead of hating herself for it, she’s very clear with the man. Like, ‘Baby, I’m an asshole and a frickin’ witch, but you are gonna have fun with me’. Rob built some instrumentation around it – but really, that is the demo.”
A stately piano ballad that swells to an epic anthem, the title track explores the addiction-troubled years when Beth felt she couldn’t go on, and the salvation offered by the charismatic minister Pastor Kim. “One day, Kim announced that she had to leave and go to another church. So, I jump up, start screaming and crying – and I went home and wrote War In My Mind because I thought without her, I would go right back to drinking. She reassured me that I could visit her – and I still go out to see her a few times a year.”
The bittersweet jazz of Without Words In The Way benefits from a stark vocal that Beth initially disowned. “I’d been singing all day, so I didn’t have the pipes I like to have for a take. But the song is about a woman who’s never going to get this man to love her – so who the frick is gonna sing good on a song like that? It’s gonna be all pain, stress and struggle. So that vocal actually ended up working out great.”
Let It Grow is so emotionally honest that its mere mention brings Beth to the brink of tears. “That song is just about having so much hope in the face of being hopeless. I wrote that one with Rune, too, and when I looked over during the take, I saw that Rob was crying. I thought we should have a gospel choir on there, so Rob went and got the best frickin’ choir – and it was like they brought a church to this record.”
The sleeve notes confirm that Westberg was also a collaborator on the stunning ballad Thankful – though Beth also gives a salute to an uncredited third songwriter. “Rune and I were in the room writing, and we’re not getting anywhere, but it’s always fun. And then, suddenly, thankful came together fast. It felt like God came into the room. And we both cried, because we felt like in that one great moment, we got a little taste of heaven.”
If the hedonistic groove of Try A Little Harder evokes the tumbling dice of the Vegas Strip, that was Beth’s intention. “It’s me jumping into my father’s body back in the ’70s when he was a high-roller,” she explains. “They’d fly him every weekend to Vegas and set him up in the hotel, ’cause he spent so much frickin’ money. He was a psychotic gambler. So, I’m using his mania for being a baccarat player and my mania for making music. My father and I are so much alike, it’s ridiculous. That song makes me feel confident, happy, and more forgiving of my bipolar disorder.”
Elsewhere, we’re reminded of Beth’s talent for blurring genres on the sultry flamenco of Spanish Lullabies and the cinematic sounding Rub Me For Luck (“Rob actually told me that one should be in a James Bond film”). Sugar Shack even has a disco flavour to fill any dance floor. “I think I’m always gonna run around on different styles,” considers Beth. “Right now, I’ve been taking a lot of writing inspiration from the songs of mid-century America. So, who knows what the next record will sound like…?”
Having followed the fascinating career of Beth Hart for a quarter-century, we’ve learned not to rule anything out – so long as it’s real. And now, with War In My Mind, this songwriter has made a record that bares her soul, wears her heart on her sleeve, and makes no apology for it. “Y’know,” she concludes, “when we did the photoshoot for this new album, it was the first time that I said, ‘No makeup and no airbrushing’. It was the first time that hearing my voice back didn’t make me sick. It was just neat to be 47 and not trying to be young, and competitive, and all these things that I’ve always felt like I’m supposed to be. On this record, something told me, just let it be what it is, man. I think I’m starting to make a little headway, getting closer to the truth. And I might not know what the truth is… but I’m OK with that.”
“Beth Hart has a blues-rock voice so ballsy; it could pin you to the wall.” – The Times
“Glorious” – The Independent
“Joyous” – Mojo
“Astonishing” – The Sunday Times
“Upfront and personal, bold and healing rock.” – Daily Mirror
All ages. Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult
This is a seated event in the auditorium
Latecomers admitted throughout
Please note that Booking Fees apply on the following transactions:
Online: £1.50 per ticket + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office.
Print at home tickets: These can be emailed to you on the account you have registered with DLWP free of charge (booking fees apply)
Telephone: £3.50 per transaction + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office
There will be a cheaper booking fee for events under £10 (booking fee = £1.00) and under £5 (booking fee = 50p).
Free events booked online are not subject to a booking fee.
There is no booking fee for tickets purchased over the counter.
Please note that we are only able to post tickets within the UK. If you live overseas please select box office collection or print at home tickets. Tickets purchased for post will be sent 10 – 14 days before the show date.
All tickets include a Restoration Levy of £1 and will be subject to an additional £1.50 booking fee per ticket. Postage of tickets adds an additional £1.50 postage charge. Other options include having your tickets emailed to the email registered to your DLWP account to print from home or free collection at the Box Office.
The following are exempt from the Restoration Levy: Learning & Participation events, events associated with exhibitions, family shows that include a child ticket price, OUTLANDS events and Music’s Not Dead events in our Café Bar. Also exempt are those organisations that hire the Pavilion where they are offered a community rate, amateur shows or are in receipt of a concession from Rother District Council.
Full terms and conditions can be found here: dlwp.com/terms-conditions-booking/
Book online: Pre-show dining can be booked online as an add-on when purchasing tickets for selected events. You will be purchasing a ticket to guarantee your meal before the show.
Please note you must be a ticket holder to the show to book pre-show dining.
Already booked your tickets? If you’ve already booked tickets for a show and would like to add dining, please contact Box Office: email@example.com
On the night: If you have pre-booked please come to the bar to order from the gig menu and sit at one of the reserved tables.
Please be aware that we operate no re-entry for gigs. This means that once you have entered the building, you cannot go out and re-enter. This policy is in line with other major music venues across the UK and put in place on police advice. No re-entry is clearly signposted as you come through security on the front door.
There is a fenced-off area on the terrace for people who go out to smoke or vape.
- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
Town Taxis: 01424 211 511
Parkhurst Taxis: 01424 733 456
- By Car
If driving from the London area:
Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
From the Brighton area:
Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free.
Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.
Please contact the Box Office on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit.
Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
- A low counter at the Box Office and Information Desk
- Disabled toilets on two floors
- A lift to all floors
- Accessible galleries on both floors
- An accessible Café
- Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
- Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
- Ramped access into the Studio
- Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.
Facilities for blind or visually-impaired
- Large print season brochures
Facilities for the hard-of-hearing
- An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
- British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.