Laura Hocking @ The Queens Head 17th August 2011

The Queens Head is a small pub located in Kings Cross. I had never visited there before and when I entered I was very surprised to see how small the actual stage the artists would be performing on. Headlining the Folk Room was Laura Hocking whom I had previously saw olay with The Long Goodbye at the end of July. Hocking is a singer/ songwriter from Yorkshire now living in London. Even though she sings with her band The Long Goodbye this headine slot was just Laura by herself. I first witnessed her at The Society Of The Golden Slippers in July and I fell in love with the material she sung. This 8 song set was acoustic folk music at its best. 2/3 Is A Dream was a gentle and mellowing song which was delivered perfectly.  “This is a comedians microphone, I will try and be funny” Laura said before launching into All Fall In which is a song about hypocondria. I really liked this upbeat song. You can clearly pick up on the fact it’s a song about checking your symptoms on the internet as you are panicked striken as you don’t know what you actually have. Once the song was over Laura told the audience that her landlord wouldn’t allow her to have a cat. “I did the worst thing you could do which is go on gumtree and look at all the kittens”. It was then onto Alpha Male which was about “Two people arguing in bed”. This song was uptempo and the chorus had to be my favourite part. “I just realised something, Hello I’m Laura Hocking. I didn’t introduce myself. Just got up like a kid at a party and started singing” she then said to the audience. Up next was Poor Louise which is about getting thrown out of catholic school for doing handstands. The lyrics are fantastic and there is bits of humour from this light hearted song. “You guys having a good evening? I’m having such a lovely evening” Laura then said to the audience before launching into the mellowing Lolita. This enchanting song was about a 16 year old falling in love with her teacher. This song was really gentle and soothing at the same time. “This song is Strongmen and Acrobats and it’s on the record, some would say it’s my single, why just have one” Hocking said before that very song. “So this ones about my brother, he’s autistic and every year at fireworks night he gets excited several weeks before hand, sometimes months. So I thought I would try and condense some aspects of that particular day into a song“. The lyrics for Strongmen and Acrobats were fantastic, you can clearly picture the story to this song. “I never realised till I came here that the thing missing from water is cucumber, it’s like having Pimms without the Pimms” Laura said to the audience. There were groans when Hocking announced she had reached the end of the set “It feels like we’ve only just got started”. Ending the enchanting set was Talented Tailor and before starting Laura gave a short introduction to the song “It’s about sort of 2nd date, meet someone at pub, have some drinks with them, their quite nice, go back to their house, put some records on, dance around the living room and then pass out on the sofa and you wake up to find you have a new tattoo, it’s not in pen”. It was lovely to hear this song acoustically which was delivered to perfection. Once over there were pleas for one final song. “This is an experiment coz it’s a new song i’ve written so I just want to see if I can play it” Laura said before lauching into Holiday which was about horrible family holidays. This song was fantastic and it was a faultless performance. From hearing it I reckon Laura played it perfectly. The lyrics were brilliant and horrible family holidays are the hardest things to face.

SET LIST

2/3 Is A Dream
All Fall In
Alpha Male
Poor Louise
Oh La, Lolita
Strongmen And Acrobats
Talented Tailor

ENCORE

Holiday

OVERALL: I really enjoyed hearing Laura perform these stripped back songs to perfection. There is something very special that makes her sets spellbinding/ enchanting. Laura Hocking is one incredible folk singer and I would put her on par with Laura Marling. I look forward to seeing her play again in the future.

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