Laura Marling @ York Hall 3rd October 2013

Night 2 of Laura Marling’s 2 night stint in London saw her playing at York Hall which is located in Bethnal Green. So I reached the venue to find out that I was the first one there which was cool because I knew I would be at the front when inside. This was the first time I had attended this hall. I had expected it to be like Conway Hall without barrier. But I was wrong there was one and the stage was pretty high. Supporting you had Nick Mulvey and then Laura took to the stage just after 9pm.

“Hello. My name’s Laura. It’s very nice to be here” Marling then said before getting stuck into a song of 4 parts. Well in fact they were the opening 4 songs which feature on the new album but meshed into one. These being Take The Night Off followed by I Was An Eagle then You Know then finally morphing into Breathe. Each of the tracks which were performed were pure folk and sounded superb and I was actually entranced hearing these live and stripped back. It is not often when you get one song that lasts for almost 15 minutes. It may have been 4 individual songs but the change between it was hardly noticeable. Master Hunter was played immediately after and it was the first released single from the new album. Still this was extremely upbeat and there was a strong folk vibe to it. It was superbly delivered and it was delivered at a fast pace. “It’s very nice to be back in Bethnal Green. I used to live around here” Laura then said before showcasing another brand new song. This was What Have You Done which was completely different compared to the prior night. Now this was a whimsical tune with fantastic lyrics which had been superbly written. “What have you done? What have you done?/ I don’t know what I’m doing/ I’m still young”. “So what’s new in Bethnal Green” Laura Marling said before saying that she misses it over here because we have “Lots of good coffee”. Marling lives in the USA now. I Speak Because I Can taken from the 2nd album of the same name. Now this was a brilliant song which was just delivered to perfection. Straight after you had Rambling Man which was faultlessly delivered. “I was in a cab yesterday” Marling said before recounting her cab journey which she mentioned about at the Shepherd’s Bush show to plenty of laughter. It was then onto Hera (aka What He Wrote). Now this was ever so beautiful and slightly hypnotic as well. The melody was ever so soothing. Following that you then had had the haunting Alpha Shallows which was faultlessly delivered and it was slightly infectious at the same time.

“I get texts from my parents who read all my reviews even though I beg them not to. And they tell me everything that everyone says. But only the bits that they think will be constructive criticism” Laura then revealed to audience before getting stuck into Ghosts. Now this was a chirpy fast past but short song which was delivered to complete perfection. It was actually an audience pleaser. This was then backed with the title track of the début album and this was Alas I Cannot Swim which was short, sweet and extremely quirky. Straight after was Blackberry Stone which originally was a B side but found its way onto the tracklisting for the 2nd album I Speak Because I Can. The vocal delivery was strong and spot on. Plus like Alpha Shallows this tune was haunting and also it was soothing. “Are you doing OK” Marling then said to the audience before saying that she was “Very well” after someone shouted out asking Laura how she was. It was then onto the magical Love Be Brave which was gentle and soft. After Laura had some more banter with the audience mentioning about her taxi journey today. “I can’t believe how much this place has changed” Marling said and the taxi driver thought she had been away for longer. This then led to the poignant Goodbye England (Covered In Snow). When first released Laura said it was her attempt at a Christmas song but I now see it as Marling’s goodbye song. This was extremely emotional as she is basically saying that even though she is leaving she will return at some point. This tune was soothing and it was very entrancing. After it was onto the beautifully delivered Don’t Ask Me Why. “I’m going to play a cover now” Laura then said before getting stuck into the penultimate tune of the evening and this being For The Sake Of The Song which was originally by Townes Van Zandt and this take had the Laura Marling stamp all over it. This take on this track was uplifting and was literally amazing. “I have one more song for you this evening. I have a way of ending shows. I don’t do encores and that’s not that I ever assume I’m going to get an encore. If you did want an encore that was the last song, if you didn’t that was the 2nd to last song” Marling said before everyone shouted out for more. Laura then ended with the short but sweet Where Can I Go? which was very upbeat.

SET LIST

Take The Night Off
I Was An Eagle
You Know
Breathe
Master Hunter
What Have You Done?
I Speak Because I Can
Rambling Man
Hera
Alpha Shallows
Ghosts
Alas I Cannot Swim
Blackberry Stone
Love Be Brave
Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)
Don’t Ask Me Why
For The Sake Of The Song (Townes Van Zandt Cover)
Where Can I Go?

OVERALL: What I liked about the 2nd night of Laura Marling was the fact that there were changes made compared to what we got at Shepherd’s Bush the night before. New song What Have You Done? was incredible and it was also a pleasure to hear Blackberry Stone. Like I mentioned in the Night 1 review Laura has grown in confidence and it makes me relish the prospect when she is next touring the UK.

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