Laura Marling (4 stars)

Laura Marling

Photo: The Queen's Hall

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Wed 14 Apr 2010

Everyone knows by now that Laura Marling (lest we forget, a 90s baby) is something of a prodigy, but even so, only a doting mother could have thought that the girl wonder had written ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ (Neil Young’s song about heroin addiction) herself. The story of Mother Marling’s mistake is just one of a few charming anecdotes Laura drops into her set, all indicative of a growth in confidence and ease since earlier performances.

But we don’t need stage banter to tell us that. It’s in the way she stands, the way she sings, and the music itself. It almost feels like she’s caught up with that incredible, rich, mature voice that she’s always had. Marling is a gifted storyteller, inhabiting her roles completely: now sweet courting maiden, now wronged wife, now prophesising wise woman; in fact, the Neil Young cover is the only moment when the words don’t ring true.

She’s still not without a certain stiff awkwardness, and in truth there’s little in tonight’s gig to make this a more exciting experience than listening to her (utterly brilliant) albums, but nevertheless, she is a totally beguiling performer. Tell Laura we love her.

Laura Marling

Engaging alt.folk from the waif-like singer whose music brims with lyrical depth and maturity.

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