British singer/songwriter Beth Orton, whose voice has been compared to Joni Mitchell's and Dusty Springfield's, has canceled her upcoming tour of Ireland because doctors have advised her to take two months off.
The singer has Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel problem, which is most frequently treated by rest and dietary changes, which is what physicians have advised for her.
Orton has been variously described as "a bummed out angel in the badlands of love" (Details), "the clear eyed oracle of London's breakbeat scene" (Spin) and "queen of the heartbreak vocal" (Mercury Music Prize judges).
Born in Norfolk in 1970, Orton moved to London with her mother at the age of 14, and they settled in Dalston. Because her older brothers were punk rockers, the most rebellious thing the teenage Orton could do was "get into folk." She spent her late teen years immersed in everything from Nick Drake to Dexy's Midnight Runners and the Stone Roses to Rickie Lee Jones.
Later influences would see her add traces of hip-hop, trip-hop, jazz and blues to her songwriter sensibility as she toured the U.S. with the Lilith Fair and Guinness Fleadh.
Orton's 1999 release Central Reservation her second full-length featuring such tracks as "Sweetest Decline" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Couldn't Cause Me Harm" (RealAudio excerpt,) received acclaim for the moodiness of her voice and lyrics as well as the layered production supporting her evocative guitar work.
Orton's five-date tour was to have started Thursday in Cork and would have finished in Belfast on Wednesday (May 3).