Tuesday 26th July, folk songwriter Laura Marling made it to Ironworks to the end of her Highlands tour which took her from Mull to Skye and Orkney.
After winning a Brit Award for Best Female Artist and topping NME’s cringy Cool List, this tour felt like an escape from the pressures of the city and new fame which Marling seems to feel uncomfortable with. The landscape of the North ties in with the rural longing of her lyrics and this all together set a calming atmosphere unheard of in the Ironworks.
With the support act giving a fairly nondescript performance, the quietly excited crowd (made up mostly of young women and their dragged-along boyfriends) clapped as if watching the golf upon the entrance of the singer. Laura Marling took to the stage a woman of exquisite, wispy thinness and acerbic wit. Her shock of blonde hair and delicate mannerisms may have cut an interesting profile but her rich vocal tone and world wise lyrics cut ever deeper. The performance was used as a platform to display her forthcoming album ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’ which demonstrated greater instrumentation than past records and an intriguing country twist. Classics such as ‘Night Terror’ were missed out but this was perhaps advantageous as it discouraged the irritating teens from yelping the lyrics back at her which occurred at any point they recognised a song.
The performance was not spectacular with Marling seeming blasé at times. However this is most likely due to her obvious natural shyness rather than boredom. It was most importantly a chance to see a real young talent, when the term ‘talent’ is bandied around far too often.
Laura Marling is clearly the leader of the recent musical trend for folk pop. Not for her the unconvincing country chic of Mumford and Sons. She reigns with unassuming skill, constant inventiveness and honesty and after this performance, looks like she will continue for a long time to come.
By Megan Donald