Saturday 1 May 2010

Laura Marling Old Fruitmarket 13th April 2010

She seems so young - and she is! She has a soft, clear focus and grip on reality - if mainly through books, her upbringing and her father. She sings a Neil Young song 'Damage Done' taught to her by her father. She speaks of her father's view in Hampshire where she grew up and his wanting to be taken there one last time.
Her new folk songs are of old stories and of England, with something peaceful and dreamlike in her voice. She has a sweet sensitivity, and her eyes are gently expressive. Laura crosses her ankles as if rocking softly on her toes and on her melodies that weave and spin gentle spells. Her lyrics tell of sparkled stories that catch the breath of winds and deep forests. You sense she has read a lot. She stands a bit shyly centre stage with her guitar, and yet while Laura looks demure she starts with her strong and charged single ' Devil Spoke.' She follows with songs from her new album - 'Goodbye England' 'Made By Maid' and 'What he Wrote' - with the lyrics 'He wrote, I'm broke, please send for me, But I'm broken too, and spoken for, do not tempt me.' She also takes the tempo up with songs such as 'Darkness Descends.'
In the City Hall foyer they are selling very classy and artistic Laura merchandise - T shirts and posters. Everything seems well organised and in place for this young artist, with nothing is left to chance. We have a balcony place. The old wooden marketplace is hung with its coloured fairy lights, and it is always the venue to get lost in.
In the early afternoon I pass an empty cafe nearby where I am sure I see Laura in the corner - while her hair is down making her look different, but she still has those distinctive eyes. My first impulse is to go in and tell her how much I enjoy her album. Then I think better of it and that I will only be disturbing her chat with another very-young-looking manager perhaps. After I think, how stupid, and I regret not going in and asking to get our tickets signed. Also I'd had no word of my Photo pass - which I later discovered had come via email at 4pm.

For the first and ending parts of her set Laura has an accomplished band. The middle section is for her quieter and pensive folk songs, where she is held in the still spotlight. She finishes her set with 'I Speak Because I Can.' It's clearly simpler for labels to sign and deal with the singer songwriter than bands - where there are no conflicting egos to deal with - and then to bring in top musicians as support. Perhaps Laura will write her 'Blue' (Joni Mitchell's iconic album) album one day when she has travelled life's journeys more. For now she is young and needs to live a little. My feeling was that she shows gigantic potential for many years to come - and certainly an artist here to stay. She has given acoustic music a modern relevant feel.
Laura is very well supported by American band Boy and Bear (an American band with strong harmonies) and Alessi Ark (an engrossing melodic voice). Laura is deep blue and vulnerable. She may look demure but just like her heroine Jane Austen she has real grit and steel in her music.
Review by PKIMAGE Photography. If interested in a photoshoot please get in touch -