Three York appearances for busker Beth McCarthy

he Voice finalist Beth McCarthy puts her feet up at the Grand Opera House in York

he Voice finalist Beth McCarthy puts her feet up at the Grand Opera House in York

First published in Music news and reviews
Last updated
by

YORK busker turned TV talent show star Beth McCarthy is growing used to being known as "Beth from The Voice".

She was at the Galtres Parklands Festival at Duncombe Park, Helmsley, last weekend with a group of friends and "everybody who walked past was 'oh Beth from The Voice'," she says.

"The Voice is basically my last name now, I might as well not have McCarthy. But it's okay. It's a good position to be in but I do get a bit of stick for it. I don't really mind because it's given me a lot of opportunities."

Those include continuing help from Kaiser Chiefs front man and The Voice mentor Ricky Wilson. "We're still in touch, which is really lovely because he's stood by his word that his coaching wasn't just on the show but carried on afterwards," she says.

But Beth is confident that The Voice label won't last forever. She knows it won't because there's a new series coming up and "so-and-so from The Voice will be replaced by a new so-and- so from The Voice". The key, reckons this likeable and intelligent 17 year old, is that once that tag disappears you're still known.

"That's what I'm working on," says the singer-songwriter, who combines studying at music college with gigging and busking.

Despite her television exposure, she still busks around the city.

"When I was on The Voice that was my way of being able to meet people who were watching and supporting me. I have Facebook and Twitter but it was nice to see the local faces. A lot of them felt I was representing their home town, which was a big deal on a big BBC show. It was nice to go out and get a vibe of that. I still do it now just for the fun of it."

Beth's a confident, but not cocky, young singer driven by a desire to perform and who found music was her way of expressing that ambition. She gets the chance with three York appearances in coming months, beginning on Wednesday with a one-night-only appearance in the musical Rock Of Ages at the Grand Opera House.

That happened after a fellow The Voice contestant invited her to the opening night of the tour in Manchester. She got talking to cast and crew and was invited to appear in the show. "I'm just coming on for the last number. It's literally like a walk-on part. They like to have as many people rocking on stage as they can," she says.

"What I like about Rock Of Ages is that it's in the middle of musical theatre and rock music. It's my type of music, I grew up with rock because of my dad. I've always been a big Meat Loaf and AC/DC kind of a fan. Obviously I don't play that myself. It doesn't necessarily fit my voice and my vocal range isn't really rock but I still love the music, so I'm really excited being in a show with all the old classics."

It's not her first time on Grand Opera House stage as she began her stage career at seven in local musical shows. She'll be back there on October 11 for the Rock Against Cancer fundraiser and is also booked for the first Music On Rails (MOR) festival at the National Railway Museum on September 6.

She's continuing her studies at Accent To Music who've been really understanding about her gigging and time on BBC1's The Voice. "It's really the best place I can be because they're teaching me what I need to know at all levels. So I'm going to finish my two-year course because I don't like to start things and not finish them. And I really enjoy being there," she says.

"I'm also gigging as much as I can. I was doing that before The Voice but a lot more opportunities have arisen since then."

She applied for the TV show after hearing from a fellow singer who'd appeared on the show that it was an amazing experience. Beth didn't think she had anything to lose by applying. She felt it was the right time for her.

"I was 16 and thought, 'If there's any time it's not going to matter, it's now'. I started performing really early and if I was going to get anywhere it probably wouldn't be until my early twenties and by that time who's going to care what I did when I was 16? It was only going to be positive so I thought I might as well go for it and get the experience.

"I got more from it because I went in there with no expectations. It wasn't thinking, 'I'm going to,win, I'm going to get somewhere'. I took every single step as it came, which actually did me a lot of good. I was in the final 28 of the competition, the final seven of my team and that was incredible. 40,000 people applied and I got to that stage. I was chuffed with it.

"I've made so many friends and contacts, I've had vocal coaching, mentoring from Ricky and advice from Kylie Minogue and Tom Jones. It's a one-off experience, there's nothing like it."

From talking to her it becomes clear that the audience is as important to her as the music. "A lot of my act is getting the audience involved and making sure everything I do is for them as much as it is for me. I don't think I'd have had that is if I hadn't started in theatre," she says.

"All the gigs I do are so different. Like you'll do one in a pub where people aren't there to listen to the music but to drink and you have to adapt your set to that so you can entertain them as well as do a good performance. Then there are the ones where people are really listening to you. It's all dead silent ,so you have to be able to portray emotion in every single thing you do."

Beth still becomes nervous occasionally. "But I think,the nerves go when you love it that much," she says. "It is really all I want to do."

Rock Of Ages runs at Grand Opera House, York, from September 2 to 6. Beth McCarthy's walk-on appearance will be in September 3's 7.30pm show. Box office: 0844 8713024 and at atgtickets.com/york

Beth performs at Music On Rails (MOR) festival at National Rail Museum, York, on September 6, playing 30-minute acoustic sets on the Directors Saloon at 2pm and 2.45pm; more information, nrm.org.uk

Also, York Rocks Against Cancer, Grand Opera House, York, October 11, 7.30pm.

 

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree