Friday, May 15, 2009

Laura Marling @ Flowerpot

Well it was actually billed as More Alarming but the venue's listings actually told you it was a secret show and to work it out yourself. Unsurprisingly it seemed that most of North London did as when Laura Marling took to the stage, the small venue was filled to bursting point and as hot as the devil's armpit. Flowerpot is a new drinking, musical establishment in Kentish Town and over May, its first month of business, it has put on a different band every night for FREE. Hoorah!
Ms Marling, and her cellist friend, actually had to clamber over the bar to reach the stage, due to the anchovy-like state of the crowd but the scramble didn't effect the performance as she burst in Ghosts from her debut album Alas I Cannot Swim, straight off. Laura's voice was edged with a slight tremble, maybe a sign of nerves, and the constant feedback from her microphone and the background chatter of the fucking people at the back almost spoilt the first song, but when the whole crowd joined in with singing the chorus, you could see Laura swell in confidence.
She aired three new songs, none of which I can remember the names of, but all of which left me mesmerized. The accompaniment of the cello added a richness to Laura's simple guitar and vocal work which complimented the tracks incredibly well. It bodes well for future releases.
She finished off with Cross Your Fingers/Crawled Out Of The Sea, which prompted an almost pub-like singalong from the cramped, but probably very drunk, masses. Ended on Alas I Cannot Swim, Laura neglected the microphone that had persistantly caused her problems all set and stepped to the front of the stage to conduct the crowd in their singing, even willing us on with her arms. For a song that seems so personal, it worked well as a group singalong and was the highlight of the night.
And that was it. Laura climb back over the bar, the crowd subsided, spilling out into the dark streets of Kentish Town and as I walked back to Camden tube, I realised I just seen something special. Next stop for Laura is the Southbank Centre!!!! Fricking crazy.

Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim (Black Cab Session)

You can view more photos of the gig on my flickr

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