Laura Marling and Timber Timbre: O2 Academy, Leeds

Laura Marling has come a long way since her back up role on Noah and the Whales’, ‘Five Years Time’.  She won her first Brit Award in 2011 and since then her popularity has rocketed.

Leeds O2 Academy is a strange venue for the line up, but it sold out nonetheless.   First opening for Laura was solo artist Pete Rowe.  Like the other acts that followed him he was accessorised with an acoustic guitar.  He had a voice not too distant from David Gray or Fyfe Dangerfield and displayed a quiet charm.  His songs were pleasant and provided a entertaining back up for friends catching up.

Timber Timbre followed, looking like a cross between an all American country and western singer and a front man of a metal band.  He had a deep soulful tone, which complimented his blues style songs. As he continued his set, his voice seemed to venture deeper and deeper and you began to wonder if it was about to become the bass.  His subjects may not have been that dark, but his sound was like that of someone that you would find pouring his heart out to an inebriated crowd in the corner of a dreary bar.  His songs were strangely hypnotic and after a short set, you wanted that little bit more.

After the audience had been completely mellowed out by Timber Timbre, Laura Marling began performing and stunned the crowd of thousands to an eery silence.  As she told her sad tales, she frequently leant her head back and let her voice creep out onto the mic.  She wasn’t short of fans and the audiences’ silence, allowed for frequent outbursts of how much they loved her.  Instead of her songs being sung loudly back to her, her adoring crowd merely murmured the words, leaving only the sound of Laura and her band.

Laura’s performance of Ghosts was spell binding, and the audience whispers of the chorus provoked chills.  The acoustics of the set were questionable and if watching from the back of the room, your review may have been a little more negative.

Laura’s virtuous and bashful look emphasised by her sound, was refreshingly broken by her ability to share a joke with the crowd.  Apologising to her audience for playing her new song “I go to gigs and I know how annoying it is to play a new song”, she was interrupted by a heckler who told her not to.  This provided the loudest reaction as the whole room including Laura couldn’t stop laughing.  She made it up to the audience by playing a more well known song “Sofia” after it.

Thankfully Laura shunned the common encore practice and after a surprisingly powerful vocal display she proved the reason for her recent success and left the room envying her talent.

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