Happy Birthday Laura Marling!

Here’s a version of “Flicker and Fail” from The Albert Hall on 7 July last year.

Some people don’t get on with this song because they think it’s too much like a Joni Mitchell song and right enough, it could have wandered off For The Roses or Court and Spark with its head held high.

Not the point.

My understanding is that this song was originally written by LM’s father, who is a big fan of Joni; she then re-worked it a little and it was issued with the download version of the Creature album, as a live recording from York Minster and most recentlyas a 7″ single last Record Store Day – so clearly she is happy with the song.

And it is a great song… but what every performance I’ve heard of this illustrates is what a great singer Laura Marling has become (“my heart, my burden…”)  She truly has developed the poise, the swagger, the chutzpah of a jazz singer.  The transcendence.

Happy Birthday to her for tomorrow.

Gigs · Music · Pubs

Laura Marling – at Bannerman’s ?

Laura Marling at Bannerman's Edinburgh

My friend Chris, who can take all the credit for all that is good about this blog design, sent me this picture from a Guardian guide to Edinburgh venues from last year.

In it, it’s claimed that Laura Marling appeared in Bannerman’s back in the day.  Plausible, I guess, as she was probably going out with the boy Mumford at the time and he would be studying at the University of Edinburgh.

I should also point out to Chris and others that from Bannerman’s, we are barred.  Out.

Addendum; I just Googled a bit; the picture is by Colin Tweedie for The Skinny magazine, which reviewed the show at Bannerman’s on 12 August 2008!

Gigs · Music

The Great Laura Marling

Laura Marling by Kristen Wilson

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog you’ll realise where the name came from. “Wounded by dust” is a line, a refrain, from Laura Marling’s song “Sophia,” the next to last track on her third album A Creature I Don’t Know.

And I love her work.

Laura Marling daft, me…

It’s quite easy to love this particular body of work; every time, the latest thing she has done is also the best thing she’s done; every album, every concert, every recording, every new song helpfully positions itself as the best part of the body so far. Easy.

Even the first time I saw her, it was clear. Winter 2010, freezing cold horrid Edinburgh winter at the claustrophobic Liquid Rooms, after the release of that summer’s I Speak Because I Can album. I was late on to the Laura Marling bus, so I wasn’t very familiar with the work but had heard a buzz and, having failed to see the previous two Edinburgh shows got along on that bad November night.

It was a good concert, but what stayed with me was that the three or four new songs performed that night were way better than anything else, which was mightily encouraging. Don’t remember what they were (as I say, I was late on the bus) but I guess they turned up on the Creature album.

So, the latest thing I have heard from her is this amazing performance of “Don’t Ask Me Why/Salinas” in Melbourne which has been posted on the front page of her official website.

Girl sitting on crate in alleyway. Awesome.

The lovely picture at the top of this post is by Kristin Wilson and I got it from the official website, so I hope I’m OK to use it in the spirit in which it was given. I have it on my wall at work, on my computer desktop, on this blog.

In this photograph, she’s like The Sphinx, The Lady of Shallot, Millais’ Ophelia; what’s she looking at, what is she thinking?

This much I know; she sees things most of us do not.

I plan to write a lot more about Marling’s work in the weeks to come.