Coming to the end of an extensive UK tour, Lindi Ortega visits Wales on a wet and windy night to lift the spirits and make the journey worthwhile.

Lindi Ortega ends her extensive UK tour with a wet, windy show in Wales.

Folk and pop singer/songwriter from Vancouver, Jordan Klassen, was first to start the show. He sang well-tailored songs from his new album, Javelin, due out in February that tells stories of love and life. Klassen also performed songs from his last album, Repentance. One song, “Gargoyles,” tells a story of how it is unbelievable to be in the UK with such historic architecture in comparison to the US where a 100-year-old building is considered old. The stand-out songs are “No Salesman” and the upbeat “Firing Squad.” The attentive crowd was captivated, listening in silence separated by outbursts of applause.

Lindi Ortega follows her band onto the stage to begin a 90-minute set. Joining her are “Champagne” James Robertson (guitar), Ryan Gavel (bass), and Noah Hungate (drums). Ortega has the crowd captivated from the start with “Run Down Neighborhood” from her latest album, Faded Gloryville, released in August 2015.
She toured the album in the US and Canada for nearly three months last year, before a well-deserved appearance at The Grand Ole Opry. The set consists of eight tracks from the album, with a few from the previous three.

There are loyal fans in the crowd along with new recruits, but all seem to know the words to her songs. “I Ain’t The Girl” is an upbeat song about a persistent boy. The audience joins in, moving and singing along.

The song, “Faded Gloryville,” tells a story about a place where artists come to continue their dreams. Ortega wrote the song after seeing the Jeff Bridges film, Crazy Heart. It is a beautiful song, which brings some lovely slide guitar work from James on his Telecaster.

Lindi tells a story of one of her first visits to the UK. A nice man, whom she said was a lovely gent, interviewed her on national radio. She later was to learn he is a national legend. She then goes on to dedicate the song “Angels” to Terry Wogan, a well-known Irish radio and television broadcaster who’s death had been announced earlier in the day. The audience responded with respectful applause.

When Ortega starts “Run Amuck,” it immediately changes the mood. It’s an upbeat, almost rockabilly song which has the crowd moving. Ortega even grabs some drumsticks to join in with Hungate, playing on the drum rim. The crowd responds with cheers.

The songs of love, heartache, lost love and lost chances continue. “Tell it Like it Is,” ” Ashes,” and “Cigarettes and Truckstops” from the album of the same name follow. Ortega and band play a fantastic cover of the Bee Gees’, “To Love Somebody,” which is included on the new album. Her beautiful version of the song contains hints of Nina Simone mixed with the original to great effect. The mood changes again with “The Day You Die,” bringing the set to an end with a bang.

The crowd wants more of Ortega, and she obliges with a three-song encore. The band wraps the evening with a great cover of “Bring It On Home” followed by “Tin Star.” She closes with her trademark cover of Cash’s “Ring of Fire”. Robertson’s guitar hums, sings, and screams creating some beautiful tones and effects. Ortega’s voice is lovely as ever, and the song could have gone on forever.

Ortega has shows scheduled through this April with tickets available from her website below.

Jordan Klassen
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Lindi Ortega
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The Globe
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