"I just feel like I have lost a part of myself" - Brighton singer

Brighton frontwoman and vocalist Beth Cannon admits she feels like she has lost a part of herself over the past seven or so months. Not being able to perform has been tough – which makes the new Brighton Dome series of gigs all the more important.


Brighton’s music venues are joining forces to programme a series of live gigs to support and protect the city’s vibrant music scene. Live Is Alive! runs in Brighton Dome and via livestream over consecutive Saturday evenings until November 7. Each event will feature local emerging artists and bands, programmed and presented in collaboration with grassroots music venues.

Beth is delighted to line up with her band LibraLibra at the October 24 gig, fusing “adventurous beats and lairy, garage punk-infiltrated guitars”, offering “spiky, garage punk-laced alternative pop bangers through to guttural, kohl-smudged new romantic balladry.”

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“To me, it just feels a great honour,” Beth says. “We are humbled by it. It’s Brighton Dome where we would never have dreamt of playing. I have seen some incredible artists that I really admire on the stage there, and I suppose it is one of those things that you might day-dream about, just thinking ‘I would love to play that stage! Obviously, the circumstances are pretty crazy at the moment, but we want to draw attention to where we are with the music industry and just how we have got to try to keep it going. I know the Dome have gone through all the safety guidelines to make the gig completely safe. I know we are in safe hands.”

Beth recalls her last gig before this one was a house party on Brighton seafront back at the end of February: “For me, since then, it just feels like I have lost a part of myself. When you are doing something you love, it’s just great, but then when you can’t do it, you just feel that you have lost something so special. For me, I just feel that the only thing I can do is to perform and to write music, and not being able to do that I just feel that I am not the whole person any more.

“For me personally, it was all pretty weird. I had an operation the week before lockdown was about to happen. I went back to my parents’ house to recover and then lockdown happened. But luckily I was with my partner Joe and we were just able to write together. We just spent days which we set aside for music, and we were in contact with the rest of the band all the time. We are like a kind of family. We were constantly messaging each other. That was really nice, but then it gets frustrating because you want to be together. Joe and I did a few live-streams together, but it is just not the same without the band.

“But by chance we had recorded everything previously, like our big release. Our EP had been recorded back in the summer of 2019, and we had been working on the videos for that. We had it all pretty much ready to go and during lockdown and during the summer we have been able to slowly release stuff that we already had prepped. But without that, it would have felt very different.”

Even so, for the moment, it still feels like she and the band are staring into the void as far as the whole music industry is concerned: “There are no solid concrete answers, and then with what they were saying that creative people should be thinking about retraining, that is just soul-destroying. It is insulting. It is flippant. I just feel that it is quite scary. I just feel that there is this intention to create an Orwelllian Tory Britain with no culture or art. You think of the billions that the arts and entertainment industry bring into this country, but you just don’t see any urgency in thinking how we can cope with it.”

For the October 24 gig also playing are: DITZ, presented by The Hope & Ruin; Lambrini Girls, presented by The Prince Albert; and Wife Swap USA, presented by The Hope & Ruin.

• Talk is increasing of further lockdowns in the UK. What do you think of the situation? Join the Big Conversation and have your say on everything from healthcare to how the pandemic has affected you personally and how we make our communities stronger: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bc-worthing