Laura Marling @ Central Hall, Westmister 26th October 2011

At the end of July Laura Marling announced the When The Bell Tolls Tour. Marling was set to perform in Cathedrals around the UK and as to be expected this 11 date tour was a sell out. It proved to be so popular 4 Matinee shows were then added. The date I chose to attend was the London performance. Unfortunately there was no Matinee or second London date added, if there was I would of been there within an heartbeat. Laura has something extremely special that makes you want to come back for more. The album that was being promoted was Marling’s 3rd effort A Creature I Don’t Know which was released 12th September.

After The Leisure Society finished their set it was then time for the main event. Marling made her entrance and launched into I Was Just A Card. Her vocal abilities were extraordinary. Laura breezed through this song at ease. “This is the only gig which is not in a cathedral, but it’s not to say it’s not really nice” Laura said to the audience. It was then onto the opening track of the brand new album and this being The Muse. This song sounds different compared to other material by Marling yes the Folk vibe is there but it also sounded there was a dash of Country. Gaining a rapturous response from the audience was debut single Ghosts. I love the folkness of this song and it conjured up memories when I first witnessed Laura play in 2008. The song itself was was fast in tempo. After plenty of applause it was then onto Don’t Ask Me Why which sounded incredible and Salinas was infused to the ending of Don’t Ask Me Why. Marling’s vocals were really powerful and the lyrics were amazing. Ending the 1st set was The Beast which sounded darker compared to any other song that featured from the new album. The song was superbly delivered, the stage was lit red and there was an heavy drumbeat. “Just us now” Marling said after the rest of the band exited the stage. Opening up the solo set was Goodbye England (Covered In Snow). This was a gentle pure folk song which Laura delivered superbly. When I first saw her singing it live Laura said it was her attempt of a Christmas song. The haunting Night Terror followed on and Laura showed off her impressive whistling skills.

The crowd were treated to a brand new song and this being unofficially titled Pray For Me. This song showed alot of promise and I fully expect it to feature on the 4th LP. iTunes bonus track was next and this being Flicker And Fail which Marling wrote with her dad. Ending the solo set was Night After Night. I really enjoyed this song which was gentle at the same time. Once over the rest of the band took to the stage before getting stuck into My Friends. They sailed through this storming song. Before the next song of the night each band member revealed an interesting fact about the venue. One of those facts being in 1968 the very room featured the very first performance of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. After they got stuck into the first single to be taken from the 3rd LP and this being Sophia. This song started off slow but as it progressed it gained an faster tempo and got alot stronger. It was then straight into the perfectly delivered Rambling Man. When over Laura  mentioned to the audience that they were starting an movement against encores. “That’s not assuming we’ll get one” Marling then went onto say before lauching into the penultimate song of the night I Speak Because I Can. This song was delivered wonderfully and was belted out at the same time. Capping off the night was All My Rage which was blitzed through.

SET LIST

w/ Band

I Was Just A Card
The Muse
Ghosts
Don’t Ask Me Why
Salinas
The Beast

SOLO

Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)
Night Terror
Pray For Me
Flicker And Fail
Night After Night

w/ Band

My Friends
Sophia
Rambling Man
I Speak Because I Can
All My Rage

OVERALL: Outstanding. Laura is an extreme talent. In fact Alas I Cannot Swim is the only album I purchased with just listening to it the one. 3 albums on you can definately see the progression. Marling has become a phenomenal recording artist whom is extremely special. Even if Folk music is not your thing give her a listen to and you will be impressed

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