Gig review: Laura Marling, Glasgow

Laura Marling is aware that she doesn’t make Saturday night music and that maybe 90 minutes in her entrancing company does not quite equate to the party of the weekend but, though delivered in front of a desert panorama backdrop, her performance was far from dry.

Laura Marling has moved to electric guitar with great effect

Laura Marling - O2 Academy, Glasgow

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“That was a long opening song,” she commented of the seamless solo suite with which she launched her set, her backing band remaining literally and figuratively in her shadow until they kicked in properly on Rambling Man.

Marling was quietly commanding as always, with much of the focus falling on her elastic vocals and evocative lyrics. But there is a new-found authority to her playing now that she has swapped acoustic for electric guitar, teasing out the rockabilly warmth of The Muse. Likewise, Sophia was utterly transformed by its new resonant arrangement.

In recent years, Marling has gone from writing about pastoral Hampshire to the Californian desert and New York without compromising her credibility, but she switched back to her acoustic roots on the gorgeous Goodbye England (Covered in Snow), a celebration of tramping the fields with her dad. Prompted by the audience, she altered the geography and giggled through the references to Scotland.

Marling is an old soul for her young age, but such spontaneity as well as the occasional false start only served to humanise a musician who could all too easily be considered untouchable for her ability to utterly captivate a room.

Seen on 25.04.15