If music were a cult, Laura Marling would be a dangerous woman. The Tivoli was quiet enough that you could hear a glass drop, as all eyes stared at the stage where a petite star shone.
Opening her show with the first three tracks from her 2013 album Once I Was an Eagle there was no artifice to her performance, which created camaraderie throughout the venue. Laura Marling has the je ne sais quoi, which makes her that delightful mix of ‘relatable young woman’ and ‘astounding performer’ that can soothe the soul or enflame the heart.
In a memorable moment, when playing Ghosts, Marling initially flubbed the lyrics and then proceeded to stumble with the strumming pattern at one moment. Each time she paused and included the crowd in her faltering, making people laugh along with her. Ghosts received a deafening roar of applause and Marling apologized for the missteps, explaining she had written the song when she was seventeen and hadn’t played it in a while. The song that truly captured by attention though was the dark and seductive Night After Night. Marling picks at the strings of her guitar, staring out into the lights as she sings;
I count no one, hold nobody's ear | I sold you my hand once and you hit me in fear | I don't stand for the devil I don't whisper in ears | I stand on the mountains and call people to hear
Along with stunning songs of her own, Marling covered Dolly Parton’s Do I Ever Cross Your Mind and Jackson C. Frank’s Blues Run The Game, embueing them with a touch of whimsy through the way that she played with the melodies. Marling doesn’t overwhelm her audience, or blow them away, she quietly draws them in until they realize they are on a journey they don’t remember beginning. A truly magical experience, if you missed Laura Marling this time around, make sure you catch her when you can.
Words by Christie Ots
Photos by Gina Martin