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.

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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.

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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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