Laura Marling is twenty two years old and has already produced three albums of astonishing songs. I will be honest, the appeal of Adele has passed me by somewhat. I realise I'm in a very slim minority, but I find listening to a whole album samey, the lyrics do not move me at all. However, Laura's voice and poetry can transport me to another place altogether.
The Manchester O2 Apollo looked full last night and as she ambled on stage dressed in jeans and a sweater, Laura looked nothing like a star but when she sang, staring upwards, delivering lines of such beauty, the effect was mesmeric. The band were extremely adept and an "introduction to the band" slot was amusingly accompanied by each of them reciting a "fact". I now know that there are sixty two pieces of Lego for every human on the planet thanks to the keyboard player.
However, it was all about the songs. Laura opened with the first four tracks off her latest album, "A Creature I Don't Know" then we were treated to flawless renditions of older songs from "Alas, I Cannot Swim" and "I Speak Because I Can" plus some new songs.Her voice is so pure, better live than on the records, both me and my erstwhile gig-buddy, Jo, were both in tears at various points.
Near the end of a perfect ninety minute set, some witless big-mouth shouted, "C'mon, Laura, play something to get the crowd going". This was met with a few boos and general disbelief, Laura's retort, " I think you're at the wrong gig, mate" drew huge applause. Her's isn't barn-storming, sing-a-long music. It's music to be cherished, loved and I for one felt very fortunate to spend a Friday night in her delightful company.