Laura Marling @ Conway Hall 23rd November 2010

Conway Hall is not the type of venue you would expect to house a gig. Let alone an artist who has released two phenomanal albums. Headlining the night was the one and only Laura Marling. An artist whom I love after she released infectious album Alas, I Cannot Swim in 2008. Since then she released follow up album I Speak Because I Can and plans for the third LP (which was also going to be released in 2010) were put on hold. I arrived outside Conway Hall just after 5pm to find there was no one there waiting for the gig. This was quite surprising as A) it was sold out and B) it was Laura Marling. In the end people started to turn up and by 7.30pm the queue did stretch a fair bit. Once inside I went into the main hall. It was actually very surreal and was like a small church hall with a stage. Also the fact there was no barrier was special and something that I have never seen at a Marling concert. Opening up the night were The Pins. A band consisting of three girls one who was concerned about how high the stage. The 7 track set was pleasent and I would definately see them play again. When you hear someone for the first time you cant fully appreciate the music as you are hearing it for the first time. They actually reminded me of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis but more my type.

The set by Marling was split into three. It was mainly focused on material from current album I Speak Because I Can plus a couple of new songs. Kicking off the 60 minute set was Devil’s Spoke and this one was a strong one to open up with. Rambling Man followed on and this was delivered perfectly. For Hope In The Air it is powerful at points and the chorus is gentle. You could sing along to the chorus but throughout the set there was eerie silence. Being so silent at gigs seems so surreal and even Laura commented on how quiet everyone was. Before Rest In The Bed Marling warned us that there was just three new songs in the set. This was a fantastic song which was steady and had powerful lyrics. Concluding the first part of the set was the strong What He Wrote. The second part of the set was just Marling on her own and this then kicked off with Tap At My Window.  This song is beautiful and haunting at the same time. The vocal range is incredible. Continuing on with songs from the debut album was Failure. This song was a real crowd pleaser and has catchy lyrics as well. It has to be my favourite song from the debut LP. A cover of Jackson C Frank’s Blues Run The Game followed on. This song was finally released on vinyl after months of legal issues. Laura added her own incredible folk twist to this song. It sounded perfect and extremely original. It was then onto new song number 2. This was the first time I had heard Night After Night and I really enjoyed this song which was belted out. This song has to be a certain for the 3rd LP. Come to think about it Marling would be an amazing artist to headline a Little Noise Session. The band then came back onto stage and launched into the haunting Alpha Shallows. Debut single Ghosts then followed on and this was again a crowd pleaser. Marling then went onto say the next song was a New Song Medley and how they are probably the only band to play a medley of songs people have never heard before. Marling then went onto explain the cliche of the chorus and their way of getting around it. The New Song Medley was two songs geled together the first being the gentle/ beautiful Don’t Ask Me Why. The second part of the medley was a song I have never heard before this was much heavier and I liked the beat to this song. The night was then capped off with I Speak Because I Can which was delivered wonderfully and belted out at the same time as well.

SET LIST

Devil’s Spoke
Rambling Man
Hope In The Air
Rest In The Bed
What He Wrote
Tap At My Window
Failure
Blues Run The Game
Night After Night
Alpha Shallows
Ghosts
New Song Medley (Don’t Ask Me Why/ ??)

ENCORE

I Speak Because I Can

OVERALL: This was a lovely gig by Laura in a intimate venue. Marling was on song but the banter was lacking a little as she didn’t know what to say. Still this didn’t matter I really enjoyed the night. A couple of people at the front had been drinking and to be honest it was a tiny bit cringing. As for The Pins they were wonderful support and I definately would like to see them play again in the future.

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