LIVE REVIEW: Laura Marling @ Paradise Rock Club 05.16.17
British singer-songwriter Laura Marling is only 27 years old, and she has already taken home awards for “Best British Female Artist” and “Best Solo Artist” in her native England. Marling rose to prominence with her 2008 album “Alas, I Cannot Swim” which was certified gold in the U.K. and since then has worked at a furious pace, turning out 6 albums in 9 years. The latest product of her efforts is 2017’s “Semper Femina” released in March. Since then she has been on the road, touring in support of the album, last night her tour came to the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA for a sold out show.
Opening the evening’s show was Los Angeles four piece, Valley Queen. Lead by frontwoman Natalie Carol Valley Queen are an alternative indie rock outfit with a little big of twang in their sound. Their retro-inspired music and overall vibes drew the attention of the room right up to the stage from the get go. By the time they had reached the halfway point of their set, Paradise Rock Club was hanging on every note. Valley Queen are on the tour in support of their recent released EP “Destroyer” which like Marling’s album, also came out in March of this year.
Laura Marling took the stage shortly after 9pm, holding her acoustic guitar and backed by a full band with drums, electric guitar, stand up bass, and vocal harmonies. Marling’s set was frontloaded with new material, with the first seven songs of the evening coming from “Semper Femina” much to the delight of her US fans. Her dulcet tones left the crowd almost in awe of her talent, as the whole room remained quiet during each of her songs, fully encompassed in the music. Side conversations and trips to the bar were nowhere to be found as the capacity crowd took in every moment. Marling paid tribute to the legendary Townes Van Zandt with a cover of his classic tune “For the Sake of the Song.”
Her stage was beautifully decorated with white flowers adorning microphone stands and amplifiers behind her. Her entire performance was incredibly artistic, yet simplistic in both sound and visual presentation. There was something vintage and familiar about seeing Marling in concert, it was a scene that’s reoccurred for decades, hundreds of people packed into a cramped club to watch a singer with a soothing voice strum an acoustic guitar. It invoked thoughts of legendary female troubadours like the great Joni Mitchell, to whom Marling is often compared and that’s a comparison that isn’t going away anytime soon.
Photos – Laura Marling, Valley Queen @ Paradise Rock Club 05.16.17: