Review: Spellbinding solo show by Laura Marling leaves Norwich Waterfront rapt

Laura Marling who performed a spellbiding solo show at Norwich's Waterfront. Picture: Submitted

Laura Marling who performed a spellbiding solo show at Norwich's Waterfront. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Submitted

The folk troubadour shed her usual band for an intimate Norwich performance that featured the music, stripped to its simpliest.

Laura Marling

Waterfront, Norwich

It's not often you can hear a pin drop during a gig at the Waterfront but that was the case of rapt audience as Laura Marling played this solo show.

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Forsaking her usual backing band for just her and her guitar and that voice this remarkably intimate performance had a spellbinding effect.

With just some little hearted banter about Norwich — 'it's really nice…well done' — this was a night that was all about the music, stripped to its simpliest.

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And what music. The folk troubadour has explored musically since her largely folk 2008 debut, Alas, I Cannot Swim. Since then there has been fascinating disarmingly, accessible and wonderfully idiosyncratic works on Mercury nominated albums I Speak Because I Can, Once I Was an Eagle and her self produced Short Movie, which featured electric guitar.

Her latest, Semper Femina, her sixth album in less than a decade, relies more heavily on acoustic guitar which lends itself to this performance.

And while her voice at turns soared, growled and even barked her finger-picking guitar playing really stood out in this mesmerising show.

Lulling, warm Americana swayed alongside her more folky early tunes like Goodbye England (Covered in Snow). Even a fluffed line during a cover of Paul Simon's Kathy's Song couldn't break the spell.

Candid, combative, caring and corrosive by turns, she is a past master at excoriating observation and vivid vignettes and in this rawest form the lyrics were given full voice.

This was enchanting, contemporary folk at its finest.

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