"Doffing a cap to International Women’s Day, we then get a trio of Marling tracks baring female names, starting with her cozy new ode to the capriciousness of the fairer sex ‘Nouel’’ followed by ‘Daisy’ and ‘Sophia’, the latter featuring twelve string guitar work to send a shiver down the spine..."
Having recently reviewed Laura Marling’s splendid new long player ‘Semper Femina’ I find myself in a unique position amongst the audience at tonight’s brimming Leeds Academy for the opening date of the chanteuse’s latest UK tour. Laura’s sixth release, not available in full until the end of this week, means the first part of her fine set, drawing heavily from this new material, is largely being heard by tonight’s attendees for the very first time. I therefore feel privileged to have enjoyed a sneak preview.
This evening’s Academy stage comes liberally decorated with inviting floral decorations, looking positively pastoral as each of the six new ‘Semper Femina’ tunes are greeted with warm applause. Laura, flanked by a brace of backing singers, plus guitar, bass and drums, promises some favourites…..’Soon’; presumably courtesy of the novel online innovation ‘Set the Set’, fans allowed to submit requests for each Marling gig.
The crowd’s patience is rewarded after a stirring rendition of new album closer ‘No Not Nearly’, suddenly Laura standing alone singing ‘Night After Night’ and you can hear a pin drop as her dulcet tones effortlessly fill the void. Doffing a cap to International Women’s Day, we then get a trio of Marling tracks baring female names, starting with her cozy new ode to the capriciousness of the fairer sex ‘Nouel’’ followed by ‘Daisy’ and ‘Sophia’, the latter featuring twelve string guitar work to send a shiver down the spine, and not for the first time tonight.
‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ and ‘Selinas’ are both glorious, containing a blend of traditional and West Coast influences, before each band member shares their personal Leeds story with the gathered masses; highlights include studying at the University, having a wallet stolen and experiencing their first panic attack!
The night ends with ‘Once’, ‘How Can I’ and ‘Darkness Descends’ and in the spirit of Laura’s polite request regarding encores (or rather, the fact she doesn’t ever do them) I will treat her final, final song ‘Rambling Man’ as the ‘encore’ instead….deal?
Leeds 02 Academy