Live Review: Laura Marling @ London Scala – 12th November 2008

By on Wednesday, 3rd December 2008 at 1:30 pm

We’ve recently teamed up with those lovely people over at the 405 and today bring you another in our regular series of guest posts from their team of amazing authors. Below is a review of Laura Marling (who we introduced you to here) live at London’s Scala written originally by Rhian Daly.

It’s been a whirlwind year for rising folk star Laura Marling. Only turning 18 a matter of days before her album release, it’s hard to imagine how the incredible talent has coped with the rave reactions to her record, the packed to the rafters gig venues and festival tents alike and, probably surrealist of all, the nomination for this year’s Mercury Music Prize – something many tastemakers were certain she’d win.

Tonight in King’s Cross there is no less anticipation or expectation than at any other point during the last eleven or so months, so much so, in fact, some sections of the audience can’t control themselves long enough to pay attention to tonight’s support act, the hauntingly beautiful Jay Jay Pistolet. Playing mostly new songs including the title track from his latest EP ‘Happy Birthday You’, his set is short but sweet; if you ignore the constant buzz of chatter from some parts of the room.

Luckily, everyone quietens down when Marling takes the stage, so much so you could literally hear a pin drop. The hushed crowd adds significantly to the atmosphere as the cropped-haired teenager appears alone for the first three songs – ‘Shine’, new track ‘Rebecca’ and a particularly spine-tingling rendition of former single ‘Ghosts’.

On stage (and on record), Marling appears wise beyond her years. In the flesh she engages her fans with unintentionally witty and supremely endearing banter in an offhand manner you would expect from someone ten years her senior. At various points tonight she is joined by her backing band, who complete the Laura Marling experience, adding another dimension to her already beautiful songs. Littering the set is a handful of new songs that are equally as good as, if not better than, anything on her first record, ‘Rambling Man’ and ‘Hope in the Air’ being prime examples of this.

As the show draws to a close, Marling’s backing band stroll back on stage for a poignant ‘Night Terror’ followed by an equally rousing ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’, during which the whole crowd is united in song for the last time this evening and, indeed, tour. Many people have already predicted great things for Laura Marling, looks like she’s about to prove them right.

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