Live Review: Laura Marling - Camden Roundhouse, London 17/03/2017
I’ve never sat upstairs at The Roundhouse before, however from my seat I could clearly see that the venue was packed to the rafters. This was pleasing to see, as although the folk genre isn’t as popular as it once was (circa 2008 featuring the likes of Noah and the Whale and the early beginnings of Mumford and Sons), it still clearly has a huge following.
In relation to the stage set up, the mic stands were garnished with flowers and other botanical paraphernalia, however it was simplistic and pretty. Laura Marling eventually floated on stage like a deity, and began the set with ‘Soothing’, the first song from her latest album Semper Femina, which was released on 10th March 2017. The name of the album is Latin for “Always a Woman”, and the content clearly denotes femininity and womanhood. I have been a fan of Laura Marling ever since her first EP release in 2007. It is clear from Semper Femina that her vocal style and song writing abilities have matured with age, however she has managed to retain her folk roots.
As Laura worked her way through her new material, she was eventually left solitary on the stage – just her and her guitar. I would say that this was a highlight of the set for me, as it showcased her ability not only as a songstress, but also her talents on the guitar. This clearly had a huge impact, as the audience was also stunned into silence.
After the first half of her set, Laura reassured the crowd that she would play her “old stuff”. I childishly hoped that this would mean songs from her first EP ‘London Town’, however she clearly didn’t mean as far back as that! Nonetheless, her set was flawless, and at one point she encouraged the other musicians on stage to share anecdotes and stories, which made the set appear all the more intimate. At the end of her set she reminded the audience that she “doesn’t do encores”, however heckles from the crowd indicate that they were all too familiar with this fact. Therefore, she finished with ‘Rambling Man’, much to my (and everyone else’s!) delight.
Words by Charlotte McHale and Photography by Ant Adams