Anyone who follows this blog regularly will know that I have a bit of an obsession with Laura Marling. I think she is incredible. I went to see her last night at the Salford Lowry, a theatre outside Manchester, along with support from Alessi’s Ark and Boy and Bear. The whole show was such a treat, all three acts just flawless. Boy and Bear played first. They are from Australia, a place where there seems to be alot of brilliant bands coming from at the moment. There harmonies are so beautiful and they had a great energy even though the venue wasn’t where they would be best suited. I hope there is lots more to come from them in the future.
Then for Alessi’s Ark. I’ve seen her twice before but both times with a full band so it was lovely to see that it was just her and one other guy. Her new EP Soul Proprietor came out last week but I think she only played one song from it, Bird Song and the rest was from her album ‘Notes from a Treehouse’. She played Woman though which is my favourite. Her voice is so unique and I think her music is stunning, makes your hairs stand on ends.
And finally, Laura Marling! It was a little surreal so see her playing is such a big venue. I remember the second time I saw her about two years ago at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. At the end we met her, she was lovely and the whole show was so intimate. And when I saw her at Glastonbury last year I was barely a metre away from her the tent was so small. The Lowry is a big theatre, its got incredible acoustics but the Laura I saw two years ago could not have filled that space. She was still incredible, but so timid and her voice sounding so much younger. The Laura I saw yesterday has grown up, her voice much stronger but still with the same haunting beauty and her music too has evolved. Its unreal to think she is only 20. She played mostly songs from her new album ‘I Speak Because I Can’, but also a few from ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’ such as Ghosts, My Manic and I and Failure. She played both solo and with her band, which consisted of members of Boy and Bear, and of course Pete Roe. In the middle she did a few solo songs, including a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Needle and the Damage Done’, she messed it up at the end but it was the sweetest mess up ever. New Songs included ‘Rest In My Bed’ and a song she said was written in the last week, both may be on her next album, due at the end of this year. As usual with Laura shows she refused to do an encore and played her last two songs without a gap, she finished with I Speak Because I Can, the last track from the album of the same name. She was stunning, so charming, such an incredible talent. My love for Laura Marling continues and grows.