Live Review: Laura Marling, DD Dumbo

21 October 2015 | 5:12 pm | Xavier Rubetzki Noonan

"Laura Marling must have her work cut out for her when putting together a setlist."

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From Castlemaine in the Victorian bush,
DD Dumbo
is a musical spice merchant, bringing exotic and enchanting flavours from disparate far-off worlds. In just one song, Dumbo (real name Oliver Perry) layers flute, vocals and guitar in shimmering waves, which steadily build until the room is full of noise. What follows is a uniquely woven dancey blues track, which shows off Perry's technical prowess on his 12-string with angular riffs and quick jerky solos, filling out the sound with percussive pinch harmonics. Throughout the set, he continues to combine organic sounds (and a few guitar pedals) in new and unnatural ways, creating foot-stomping blues and room-filling post-rock drones with the one brushstroke.

Laura Marling must have her work cut out for her when putting together a setlist. At just 25, she's released five acclaimed albums in the last seven years, and has an audience which encompasses both graying Joni Mitchell fans and the young festival crowd. Marling began, backed by nimble drums and upright bass, by performing the suite which begins 2013's Once I Was An Eagle in full: a fitting introduction to Marling's many charms as a performer and songwriter. New single Short Movie's palm-muting grew in intensity until the walls were shaking, Marling's voice ably snaking around complex melodies and rhythms.

Marling's rushed yet dutiful rendition of early hit Ghosts showed she was unwilling to be held back by her past... or maybe she was just really sick of playing it. She was visibly happier jumping into a couple of short but sweet covers, one by Jackson C Frank, another by Dolly Parton. Goodbye England sounded gorgeous stripped way back, played in what Marling assured the crowd was her father's favourite tuning. Too soon after, Marling announced they had time for just a few more; but luckily, those few were the wonderful country-infused Rambling Man and the new album highlight How Can I.

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