Laura Marling at Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA, February 4, 2010 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Laura Marling

Laura Marling at Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA, February 4, 2010,

Feb 17, 2010 Laura Marling Bookmark and Share


At 20, Laura Marling possesses more grace and professional polish than I, at my decidedly more than 20 years, will ever have. However, with work that speaks for itself, shining amidst the London-based nu-folk scene that includes Noah and the Whale and Mumford & Sons, and hinting at a record collection filled with 1960s troubadours, age is a non-factor. Even if a post-gig drink during her recent North American Tour was out of the question.

The majority of the show acted as a preview for Marling’s upcoming sophomore album, I Speak Because I Can. (Spoiler: if you like Bob Dylan, but wish his stuff could be preformed with a few extra harmonies and a delicate female voice, you’re in luck.) Opening the show with the boisterous “Devil’s Spoke,” the new material signals a decided shift from the little-girl-lost persona of Mercury Prize nominated debut Alas I Cannot Swim. The victim of “My Manic and I” (one of the night’s greatest displays of Marling’s amazing rapid-fire vocal talent) has been replaced with a cast of cool-headed, world-weary characters. Even when biding her lover adieu in “Goodbye England,” there’s a remarkable poise to her narrative melancholy. (Okay really, only 20 years old?)

Dismissing her four-piece band, Marling played several songs solo in the middle of her set, including Alas I Cannot Swim‘s “Night Terror”apologizing beforehand for her lack of fiddle player. “But I’ll whistle,” she told us. “Because whistling is never boring.” True to her word, Marling filled in the missing string section without missing a beat. It was a clever innovation that elicited as much of an audience response as other clear favorite, Alas I Cannot Swim single, “Ghosts.”

Soft spoken, Marling mumble-pontificated about the absurdity of encores. “I’ve always wondered why you’d withhold two of your best songs,” she asked, going on to cut a clever deal with the audience to avoid the age-old ritual. “If you want an encore, this is the last song. If you don’t want an encore, this is the second to last song.” Judging by the laughter and intense applause following encore/set closer “Alas I Cannot Swim,” Marling could have re-negotiated all the encores she pleased.

(www.lauramarling.com)




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