Opinion: Beth makes sweet music for Fake Sugar album

Chat: Darren Milby
Chat: Darren Milby
4 September 2017 7:07PM

BETH Ditto burst onto the scene with her indie band Gossip.

They were really noticed in the UK back in 2006 when their track, Standing in the way of control, was used on Channel 4’s edgy teen drama, Skins.

The track became an anthem for a new civil rights movement. The track is a protest against a proposed law in the US which would have outlawed same-sex marriage.

Beth is a real force of nature. I’ve been a fan of Gossip for ages and it was a real pleasure to be able to gossip with Beth recently as she launched her solo career. She seems really buoyant and excited about going it alone.

She said: “I miss my band mates because we were together for so long. I don’t feel any more liberated, it feels the same part of me just working with different people. I don’t want to sound arrogant because I do miss them, but at the same time I was always really loud and was always being the mouth so it doesn’t feel that different.”

Beth may have turned her back on Gossip but the band left a legacy, especially in their fight for equality.

She said: “I just wanted to do something that gave back to the people that gave me something. The reason that I left Arkansas, which was a difficult place to grow up, was the strength I found through music. I wanted to give that back.”

Beth’s contribution to Gossip is obvious, even more so when you hear her new solo record, Fake Sugar. It is pure, unadulterated Beth.

She said: “I don’t think the record shows a more mature side of me. I don’t think I have a mature side! This record reflects the songs and the artists I grew up with. It’s an homage to them. People like Phil Collins and Paul Simon. I really wanted to make a record that’s as good as Graceland. It’s also a tribute to my father, remembering the good times when I was a kid. I used to dance on his feet to Boogie woogie piano, sweet stuff like that.”

Beth is always great at creating headlines. She know how to work the press to her advantage, whether it's to further a cause she believes in or to sell a record, but she told me it's not part of a deliberate plan, she’s just being herself.

She said: “People often say to me ‘you’re so outrageous.’ I always think not really, I just can’t stop talking!”

I could have chatted to Beth all day, although true to form she couldn't stop talking! Her brilliant new album, Fake Sugar, is out now and our little gossip can be heard on The Bay’s website.

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