Paradiso – 18 March 2012
Standing outside the Paradiso on a cold Sunday evening, I had a small moment of panic as to what I had got myself, and my friends into. Now don’t get me wrong – I Love Laura Marling. And in particular I really love her first album Alas, I Cannot Swim, which I can’t recommend highly enough. But apparently everyone else who loves Laura is 5-10 years younger than me, female and more hipster than a 9 Streets thrift shop.
So it was with some relief that she took to the main stage with a 5 piece band which included cello, tenor horn and double bass. My excitement returned and within seconds so had my love for Laura.
For those who don’t know the Laura Marling story, she started her musical life in the original line-up of Brit’ indie-folk darlings Noah & the Whale. Shortly after the release of their debut album she left the band and began recording Alas, I Cannot Swim, produced by N&TW front-man Charlie Fink. She has since gone on to release two more solo albums, which gives her an impressive repertoire for someone who is only 22.
On this night she would draw from all three albums and put on a great show. Her band gave her fantastic support, switching between a number of different instruments throughout the night. At times they produced a quiet haunting sound to accompany her almost story-telling voice, before building up to a rich, loud sound in some of the newer songs. They also picked up the award for most entertaining band intro, each member displaying some backstage fruit-art inspired by their time in Amsterdam.
The highlight of the show was probably the 5 acoustic solo songs in the middle of the set, including a beautiful version of My Manic and I (see attached video) and an interesting cover of Neil Young’s Dance, Dance, Dance. This was only meant to be 4 solo songs, however much to the delight of the crowd, the band missed their cue to come back out and we were treated to a bonus version of Night After Night.
Laura Marling Live - My Manic and I Paradiso 18-3-2012 Paradiso
As good as her performance was, I can’t help but feel there could have been more. At times it promised so much; the crowd was amazingly quiet and attentive, her voice was beautiful and strong, and the Paradiso was the perfect setting. But somehow it never reached that perfect climax where the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you just know that this is it, as good as live music can get.
Perhaps it was because the show felt a little short and there was no encore. Or perhaps you need to remember that she is only 22 and she still doesn’t seem 100% comfortable on stage. Whatever the reason was, that perfect live musical moment is extremely rare and Laura got closer than anyone I have seen in a while. So she still has my love along with all the young hipsters who seemed just as mesmerized as I was.
Originally posted on mokumgroupie