Live Review: Laura Jean + The Letter String Quartet – The Toff In Town (05.11.11)

Being fashionably late is no longer fashionable. I find this out when I arrive as soon as the 3rd or 4th song from The Letter String Quartet and the venue is nearly full already. As soon as I walked through the door, this collection of strings had me captured. The tones which the four players on stage were producing were quite out of this world. I couldn’t be distracted by the even-later wanderers coming in. The Letter straddled crescendos of sound that didn’t even need to be accentuated by lyrics or voice.

There were a few songs which had the occasional voice come in, which did add to the pleasure. The only gripe I had was that towards the end of the set, the talking rabble became louder and louder, which made me wonder fleetingly if The Toff was an appropriate venue, but I came to thinking that it should be the punters fault for not appreciating what was on stage, as opposed to the venue chosen to have The Letter perform in.

Laura Jean was as charming as you could ever get from a performer tonight. You can tell that she was wrapped to be there and was enjoying every moment on stage for her album launch, despite her saying she was a little “awkward” dressed in a black dress. Tonight we heard A fool who’ll from beginning to end. Even her banter didn’t reflect too much on her past work.

She told a tale of how a Tasmanian punter scatted her way through a song, and her thoughts about particular tracks as well. Tracks like ‘Missing You’ and ‘Marry Me’ had a wonderful reflective tone, with the latter song including strings of The Letter to perfect it that little bit more. The set was alternatively arresting with songs like ‘Velveteen’ and the closing track for tonight ‘Australia’ allowing Laura to show the audience how far she has come from her acoustic roots. It was been a truly wonderful aural journey in the space of an hour.


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