Laura Marling – Live

Town Hall, Manchester. 03/11/2009
By Chris Gilliver

Rumour has it that Laura Marling was paid just £200 a show for the honour of supporting Daniel Johnston on his current tour, and this does not even take into account that she is paying for her own crew and transport. I can’t help but feel that one day someone will do the same thing for the honour of playing with her as she is without doubt the finest young singer songwriter around. 

She is playing in epic surroundings tonight, Manchester Town Hall’s grand hall. The walls are decked with artistic impression’s of Manchester’s finest moments: its founding by Romans, someone discovering marsh gas, the opening of the Bridgewater Canal by two babies (??!!!). And the ceiling shows some of the great powers during Victoria’s reign: China, USA, Bradford (???!!!). 

And yet through all this OTT nationalist bullshit, Marling manages to make the show an intimate affair with her simple, understated delivery. It’s only a 5 song set, but what a set. Ghosts is still brilliant, and My Manic And I is still a bizarre tale of love caught in a downward spiral, as powerful as it is depressing. 

She showcases a few songs from her eagerly anticipated, forthcoming album, which will be a retort to Charlie Fink’s breakup album (they were going out until recently) with Noah And The Whale. It should be quite something, something more real and important than the grandiose ideas of the Victorians.

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