Sunday, April 11, 2010

Marling and Me

On stage last night at The Academy, Dublin, stood a twenty year old timid woman with hair scraped back into a neat bun, guarded by her guitar.

Laura Marling is known for her shyness and at times awkward persona during performances and last night wasn't too different, but perhaps a little less cringey. Opening with her raging ballad and new single 'Devil's Spoke', the crowd soon gave her the confidence to take part in a bit of on stage banter. She continued on with the vulnerable 'Rambling Man', another new track off her latest album, I Speak Because I Can. With an onslaught of guitars tuned to perfection being handed to her after every song she and her band gelled together beautifully as they provided percussion, piano, and cello accompaniments to her setlist.

The band then disappeared and left a lonesome Laura to tackle the rest of the folk-inspired set with favourites such as 'My Manic and I', 'Ghosts' and the mellow 'Goodbye England'. Before attempting to cover Neil Young's classic 'Needle and the Damage Done', she recounted her first few gigs where she played the song as homage to her father her taught her. She added that her mother used to tell people that she wrote the song herself, and as an 18 year singing about heroin, which saw a twinkle in her eye (her parents were actually present at the gig). She executed it perfectly, adding her own twists and natural flare to the song which showed range to her somewhat typecasted voice as the 'female Bob Dylan'.

The gig built up emphatically much like her songs themselves, and then trailed off slowly with 'Alas I Cannot Swim' echoing around the sold out venue filled with adoring fans. She has certainly proved herself as a live performer however much she finds the whole act nerve wracking.


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