Beth Orton Tour To Hit Clubs, Festivals

Two-month swing includes portions of Lilith Fair, Guinness Fleadh tours.

British singer/songwriter Beth Orton will play a mix of club and festival

dates this spring and summer in support of her second album, Central

Reservation.

The trek will find the neo-folkie appearing on parts of the Lilith Fair

and Guinness Fleadh tours.

Orton will kick off the tour May 29 in Baltimore at the grandfather of

spring radio fests, WHFS-FM's annual HFStival, where she'll share the

stage with such rockers as the Offspring, Sugar Ray, Silverchair, Ozomatli

and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. She'll follow with headlining club dates

in the Midwest and the East, including stops in Washington, D.C.;

Carrboro, N.C.; and Minneapolis.

The first leg of Orton's tour also will include appearances on two dates

of the third annual Guinness Fleadh music festival. She'll join separate

lineups in Boston and Chicago, both of which will feature Van Morrison,

Elvis Costello and Hootie & the Blowfish.

"It's cool that some people get to catch her on a big stage with a bunch

of other bands and other people will see her in an intimate [small club]

space," JoAnna Wilson, 24, a graduate student at

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., wrote in an e-mail.

Wilson said she plans to check out Orton's show at the 9:30 Club. "I

could catch her in Baltimore at the HFStival, too, but I'd rather not

deal with a bunch of sweaty, moshing boys," she wrote. "But I'm lucky I

get to pick."

After a three-week break, Orton will tackle the West Coast portion of

the Lilith Fair. This year's Lilith features a diverse lineup that also

includes rock veterans the Pretenders, rapper Queen Latifah, indie rockers

Cibo Matto, and R&B singers Mya, Monica and Deborah Cox. Tour founder

Sarah McLachlan has said it may be the all-female tour's last North

American run.

Orton will play the first eight dates of Lilith, from July 8 in Vancouver,

British Columbia, through July 17 in Los Angeles.

Central Reservation, released March 23, finds Orton steering away

from the trip-hop grooves of her 1997 debut, Trailer Park, and

concentrating on a more folk-dominated sound. The 12-track album features

vocals and guitar work by fellow folkie Ben Harper as well as musical

backing from New Orleans pianist Dr. John (born Mac Rebennack) and Ben

Watt of Everything But the Girl. It includes "Stolen Car"

(RealAudio excerpt) and the late-night ballad "Sweetest Decline"

(RealAudio excerpt).

Orton, who kicked off her career by singing on Chemical Brothers tracks,

has won the approval of the electronica wizards with Central

Reservation -- though they said it took a few spins before it hooked

them.

"I like it," said Ed Simons, who is joined in the Chemical Brothers by

Tom Rowlands. "It's a grower."

Beth Orton Festival and Headlining Tour Dates:

May 29; Baltimore, Md., HFStival at Ravens Stadium

June 2; Washington, D.C., 9:30 Club

June 3; New York, N.Y., Roseland

June 4; Philadelphia, Pa., Theater of the Living Arts

June 6; Carrboro, N.C., Cat's Cradle

June 7; Atlanta, Ga., Cotton Club

June 9; Cincinnati, Ohio, Bogart's

June 11; Cleveland, Ohio, The Odeon

June 12; Chicago, Ill., Fleadh Fest

June 13; Minneapolis, Minn., The Quest

June 15; Detroit, Mich., St. Andrew's Hall

June 16; Pittsburgh, Pa., Rosebud

June 18; Northampton, Mass., Pearl Street

June 19; Boston, Mass., Fleadh Fest

Lilith Fair Dates:

July 8; Vancouver, British Columbia, Thunderbird Stadium

July 9-10; George, Wash., The Gorge

July 11; Portland, Ore., Civic Stadium

July 13-14; Mountain View, Calif., Shoreline Amphitheatre

July 16; Chula Vista, Calif., Coors Amphitheatre

July 17; Pasadena, Calif., Rose Bowl