Gig Review – Laura Marling In Los Angeles
By J. Brown
As impressive as ever, British folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling is currently touring the United States to promote her new album A Creature I Don’t Know. Simply put, she was mesmerizing and held the captive audience spellbound at the Masonic Lodge in the Hollywood Forever cemetery. In a chapel-like setting dimly lit by maroon-colored walls and gothic candles, the intimate gathering left us all ready to sit at the feet of this amazingly talented and poetic 21-year-old. The audience barely made a peep throughout the show, as if to ensure that no word, no lyric, no beat was left unheard.
There is a sense of fragility that characterizes the balance of themes in Marling’s songs, but at their very heart lies defiance, as if she alone has the nerve to tussle with humanity’s crooked nature and our permanent struggle to overcome our baser instincts. Her songs seem to swirl around forces that push man to the brink of being overtaken by what most haunts us, if we’re unafraid to really look (and in this case listen).
Her latest album continues to showcase her outstanding songwriting and timeless lyrics. After the night’s show, I was left with the distinct feeling that Laura Marling’s music will stand the test of time and she will be discussed in the same vein as many of our greatest songwriters. One only has to listen to “Night after Night,” which is a song of such aching perfection, and as beautiful as it is tragic and haunting.
Despite whatever reputation or expectations one may have of a singer who writes such profound and rather dark lyrics, Marling seemed perfectly at ease up on stage and poked fun of her poor stage banter. She seems to have so much more confidence and was in total command of a band that added all the right touches to her remarkable songs.
This confidence seems evident in the way Marling has reworked some of her past material. For instance, Charlie Fink from Noah and the Whale was instrumental in the sound cultivated on Marling’s debut album, but it’s as if Marling has reclaimed these songs as her own by playing them in a new way that reflects her stronger sense of self.
Marling played a perfect mix of songs from all three of her albums, and even played six songs solo. If you can still get tickets in a city near you, do yourself a favor and see Ms. Marling live.
The set list was as follows:
Alas I Cannot Swim
I Was Just a Card
Hope in the Air
Don’t Ask Me Why
Rest in the Bed (solo)
What He Wrote (solo)
Goodbye England (solo)
Made by Maid (solo)
Untitled New Song (solo)
Night after Night (solo)
I Speak Because I Can