Concert Review + Live Photos: Laura Marling at the Colony Cafe in Woodstock, NY
To this point in her career you’d be hard pressed to find a review that doesn’t mention Laura Marling’s age. At 22 she has a collection of music that rivals and in many cases puts to shame the accomplishments of artist a decade her senior. Certainly there’s no escaping her “old soul”. It’s an element that has been there since her first release but to put an emphasis on her age isn’t quite fair as her music, when judged and interpreted with eyes closed, holds it’s own.
She may not be a household name (YET) but she hasn’t gone unnoticed. In her native England she has garnered mulitple awards (NME 2011 Solo Artist of the year, Brit Awards Best British Female 2011). With an extremely loyal following that has steadily grown since her first release in 2008’s (“Alas I Cannot Swim”) Marling has built a reputation as a can’t-miss-show.
Since the release of her third album A Creature I Don’t Know in September, 2011 Marling has toured extensively throughout the eorld. First with a full band and more resently accompanied only by her guitar. Setting out on what she dubbed the “Working Holiday Tour” she has made her way across the U.S. again only this time the goal as been to play smaller venues. So to see her in an intimate setting such as the Colony Cafe in Woodstock, NY is indeed a treat.
Refusing to conform to the norm Marling has the guts to open with the longest song in her set, clocking in at what had to be near 7 minutes and then informing the crowd at the end of the night that there are no encores. It’s a policy she has always had and is meant with no malice. In fact, it’s the anti-self indulgence in her stage presence that sits in stark contrast to the intimate content of her songs. Between songs she apologizes that she has to change the tuning on her guitar and has nothing to fill the silence with. There is no canned between-songs-schtick. Just silence and the anticipation of whats next.
The absence of clever banter for the sake of banter is odd for a folk singer but it’s also refreshing and special as it adds meaning to what she does share with the audience – like the fact that her father had hitchhiked across the U.S. in 1970 finding his way at one point to Woodstock, she joked “I guess he was a little late”. With pride she later adds that his cross-country sojourn had at one point landed him in jail for simply being a hippie. The irony not being lost on the fact that 42 years later that hippies daughter’s journey would lead her to Woodstock…acoustic guitar in hand.
The show, lasting approximately an hour, may seem short in headliner terms but factoring in the time usually spent on stage chatter and waiting for an encore she may leave you wanting more but she doesn’t leave you short changed.. Even in venues larger then the Colony Cafe, Marling’s presence and delivery commands an audiences absolute attention. In the age of endless distracts it’s impressive to be enthralled in a performance that when over leaves the crowd taking a deep breath and wondering – “when can I see her again” (if all goes as planned, Spring 2013).
Check out Live Photos of Laura Marling’s Show Below (or View Full Gallery Here):