Laura Marling @ Manchester Apollo 09/03/12

Laura Marling Manchester Apollo 3

I got to the Apollo just in time to see Timber Timbre but at first I didn’t realise that this was Timber Timbre on stage. I thought they were a band or usually play as a band. I was a little bit lost and I think the John Locke look alike that was sat in front of me was too.  However Taylor Kirk strolled onto the stage and began to play some very dark atmospheric tunes. I think I may have heard him mumble a few lines either that or it was somebody from the audience.   I have heard a lot of hype about Timber Timbre and how good they are but I can certainly say Timber Timbre are not my cup of tea!

After a short interval Laura accompanied by her band finally appeared on stage with the opening song ‘I was just a card’ Laura sang flawlessly into the mic backed up by an assortment of instruments. The first time I saw Laura Marling perform she was very shy on stage and barely talkative but this time there was a lot of humorous random facts Laura and the band shared with the audience. Laura told us that she was sat in the Apollo all day watching Crufts and that there was a dog that looked like a human rear end, although not that interesting she said. Laura goes on to say that the inspiration for the song Alas I Cannot Swim came from an ancient Iranian poem that her Godfather showed her. Continuing with the bottom joke she says “and the next line goes there is a boy across the river with an arse like a peach. But alas I cannot swim” with a cry of laughter from the audience.

Laura Marling Manchester Apollo

During Laura’s set someone from the crowd shouted out “Come on Laura get the crowd going!” or something along those lines, quite difficult to hear when I was sitting in the circle seating area. As the crowd grunted Laura replied with “I think you’re at the wrong show” The crowd went wild with applause. Shortly after the band left the stage Laura did a short solo set which included ‘Pray for Me’, ‘Goodbye England’ and one of my favourites ‘Failure’.  The lights lit up the Apollo displaying an array of patterns across the ceiling and walls as Laura sang the last few songs Rambling Man, Alpha Shadows, Sophia. Ending the night with the title track from the second album, I Speak because I Can.

For any of those who have not seen Laura before, she explained her views on encores and that she didn’t do encores.  Although I thoroughly enjoyed the Laura Marling show at the Apollo I don’t think the venue was quite suited to her. The little annoyances of the audience talking or fidgeting I think the venue was just too big as well as the acoustics sounding a bit off at times.

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