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Live Review: Laura Marling

21 October 2015 | 4:31 pm | Chris Havercroft

"Marling stayed relatively true to her folk roots."

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Since she was last in Australia, Laura Marling separated herself from the relationships that brought her comfort and well as with her long blonde locks. Always a popular figure in Australia, the young folk artist and somewhat recluse brought her full band for the current downunder tour.

First up was Castlemaine-born Oliver Hugh Perry who ventured out of the Victorian bush to play a show under the moniker D.D Dumbo. These reverb-soaked songs are minimalist in nature but showcase Perry’s sublime voice. With a focus on rhythm and the tunes from his Tropical Oceans EP, D.D Dumbo won over a new sets of ears.

Wasting no time, Laura Marling had guitar at the ready as she kicked into Take The Night Off, I Was An Eagle, You Know and Breathe as if they were the one song during the first 15 minutes of a set that silenced the crowd. The latest Marling record, Short Movie,  is a much bigger effort with electric instruments and looser arrangements, but this didn’t necessarily translate into the live setting where Marling stayed relatively true to her folk roots.

Short Movie was an upbeat yet intense moment, showing that Marling is a more than tidy guitarist with a voice that ranges from almost spoken to an intriguing vibrato and most places in between. The band were dispensed with as Marling performed a couple of songs solo. During What He Wrote, Marling cried ‘whoa’ and laughed at her bum note without skipping too much of a beat. Marling is a massive Dolly Parton fan. The most conventionally structured tune that she played for the evening was a cover of Do I Ever Cross Your Mind.

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Things returned to the trio format with a bow being used on a double bass regularly to add extra depth. Sophia was a little sloppy with some bum notes and the band transitioning in a messy fashion, but it is these glimpses of humanness that add to the appeal of the quietly spoke Marling.

Marling declared that the band don’t do encores and announced the last two songs. Rambling Man is long a staple of her live set and How Can I was a rare peak into the songs from her latest record. Marling has a strong and fervent following for an artist who doesn’t tend to write in the standard verse/chorus structure. It is not hard to see why as she drew people in during another intimate performance.

Originally published in X-Press Magazine