Who: Laura Marling
Where: Kool Haus, Toronto
When: February 9 2009
When an individual visualizes a concert, they picture a primal and unsettled crowd, chanting along to monumental choruses while the musicians on-stage emit an unusual amount of energy. Even though British songstress Laura Marling’s gig in Toronto is classified as a concert, it was more of an intimate moment in time. A night where hearts and ears were touched in a sensual yet calming manner.
Hailing from Hampshire, England, the former Noah And The Whale singer was greeted by a clustered Lee’s Palace on a snowy Tuesday night. As her supporting band took their place on stage, Marling greeted the crowd with a friendly “hello” and commented on the weather erupting outside of the venue.
“It’s nice to be back in Canada again. Except it’s f*cking cold outside.”
As the crowd laughed at her remark, Marling and her associates struck up a number off the folk singer’s upcoming record I Speak Because I Can. Different from most of her material, “Devil’s Spoke” hushed the audience and shook the walls with a thunderous Celtic beat that breathed long lost pages of true European folk music. The peculiar sound powered by Marling’s fiery British accent caught a few individuals by surprise, but it was the perfect track to start her performance.
Though avid fans only expected gems from Marling’s first record, Alas, I Cannot Swim, the singer presented her on-lookers with an assortment of songs. She touched upon tunes like the eery yet delightful “My Manic And I” and even entertained with a whistling solo for the moving “Night Terror”, but it was the unexpected tracks that pleased many. One for example was a brand new song she unveiled that was recently turned down for a film . Driven by her angelic vocals and angered yet mythical guitar chords, the two-and-a half minute number enticed many.
But the number that was truly entrancing was the title track for Marling’s upcoming sophomore album. “I Speak Because I Can” put the songstress’ various talents on display as it showed her delicate yet compelling vocal range, mesmerizing guitar work and poetic songwriting.
“Never rode my bike down to the sea.
Never finished that letter I was writing.
Never got up and shared anything.
For me, for her, for my.”
To say the musician put on an impressive performance is an understatement. Her heartfelt tunes may be a tad bit soft to the ear for some, but her abilities can astound many. Along with hushing the audience with artistic melodies, Marling excited them with surprises like a rendition of Neil Young’s “The Needle And The Damage Done”, which she proclaims was the first cover she ever learned on guitar. The fact she was relaxed and confident in revealing her music to open ears showed a mature personality.
Even if she is only 20-years-old.