Review: Laura Marling brings her spiritual folk to Meltdown

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Laura Marling Royal Festival Hall Meltdown Festival Saturday 18th June 2016

Laura Marling brings her spiritual folk to Meltdown, a mesmerised Philip Giouras offers his thoughts.


The final artist to headline Meltdown was the one first picked, Laura Marling was Guy’s first choice for the festival and with good reason, performing songs from throughout her career including  a few from last years stellar Short Movies, Laura’s show is both captivating and beautiful.

During quieter numbers you couldn’t hear a pin drop as the crowd gave her their undivided attention, as soon as the tempo picked up though such as during the opener ‘Rambling Man’ the audience would soon cheer her on, The crowd remained supportive throughout the night.

She incorporated strings in various points of her set to great effect, she was constantly keeping things fresh, changing between quiet solo numbers featuring just her and a guitar to larger more epic sounding tracks which would feature any combination of backing singers, drums, violins or even a cello.

Early highlights include ‘How Can I’ as she sings of being taken away from her new location in LA  and ‘Daisy’ a story of a woman’s independence, confidently singing “A woman alone, is not a woman undone” both taken from her most recent release Short Movies. A few covers are incorporated into her set, one of which is ‘Waitin' Around To Die’ by Townes Van Zandt, she makes the country song fit effortlessly into her own material showing she can go between genres effortlessly.

Between song chat is kept to a minimal, when she does speak however she is endearing and funny, where even her story about The Times bringing Kundalini yoga mainstream gets a few laughs and left me instantly wanting to check out the spiritually intense, ego destroying yoga as she describes it.

Speaking of spiritual, it’s the perfect way to describe her music as she sings of God, the Devil and love in a unique way, the lyrics are such an integral part of her music and every song has a meaning or is like a story being told in front of you, by the time she finished the crowd was left enthralled.

Setlist

 

  1. Rambling Man

  2. How Can I

  3. Daisy

  4. Courting Blues (Bert Jansch cover)

  5. I Feel Your Love

  6. Don't Pass Me By

  7. What He Wrote

  8. Take the Night Off

  9. I Was an Eagle

  10. You Know

  11. Breathe

  12. Once

  13. Walk Alone

  14. Wild Fire

  15. Waitin' Around to Die (Townes Van Zandt cover)

  16. Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)

  17. I Speak Because I Can

  18. Sophia

 


This article was originally featured on the Southbank Centre's blog, where I and other aspiring music journalists wrote articles on this years Meltdown Festival curated by Guy Garvey. I'd like to just say thank you to Southbank + Meltdown for the fantastic opportunity

Check it out here alongside all the other great pieces of content made by the Meltdown Journalists.