The mercurial Laura Marling charmed The Forum Theater in one of the finest performances I’ve seen in... ever, really.
She quietly shuffled onto the stage, and softly picked at the opening chords of her latest single ‘I Was Just A Card’. Her voice tinkled into the microphone as the song progressed into its heavily strummed climax. The young songstress followed with ‘The Muse’, another track off her latest release A Creature I Don’t Know, before leading into her breakout track ‘Ghosts’. Three songs in and the quality of Marling was already confirmed, there is a reason why her albums all sound so beautifully effortless, there is no denying the girl has got a gift.
What she doesn’t have a natural gift for is stage banter, or so she thinks. Yes, she is awkward, but she is so sincere that it is both endearing and entertaining in equal measures. In fact one of the highlights of the evening was a banter session between Marling and her band; after explaining how weird her band find her to be on stage, she put them on the spot, making each member state a fact as revenge. One band member got his moment to shine as he into went into encyclopaedia-worthy detail about the probability of life on other planets. Even though he was trying to be informative, he was found to be quite hilarious, drawing many a warm laugh from the crowd with each passing sentence.
For a girl who describes herself as ‘fierce’, Marling is a bubbly individual. It was during the evening’s highpoint performance of ‘Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)’, that it became apparent Marling is comparable to an open fire in winter. Every person in the Forum gathered around her as though they had travelled through the conditions described in her lyrics, and stood in front of her, watching her beauty in silence. Not the ‘people having whispered conversations’ type of silence either, but complete silence. Hanging onto her every note, her every flicker.
Before closing with the ‘ye olde renaissance’ tinged ‘All My Rage’, her last act to the crowd was to go on the offensive about the modern day encore, which earned points in my book. Her insistence that the encore should be an act of spontaneity and not an ego stroking opportunity is refreshing and as down to earth as her music.
I can say in all honesty this show was something else, certainly one of the best I’ve been to, and there isn’t really anything I can type here to do it justice. If you were there, then I’m certain you’ll agree that even with her confessed or notable flaws that her show at The Forum Theatre this February was nearing perfection. Her presence, her warmth, her performance – immaculate.