Laura Marling at Winchester Cathedral

Yesterday I only managed to give you a small blog post, which I hated, I wanted to give more depth to it, but was unable to as I needed to leave otherwise I would miss my train to Winchester. If you hadn’t guessed from the title, Laura Marling was playing there.

Now, even though Gosport is charming and peaceful it has one tiny downside which might be its biggest claim to fame. It just so happens to be the largest town in England without a train station. It’s a bit of a pain in the arse if you’re running late because you have to rely on the ferry and I’m never quite sure if there’s one or two running.

Anyway, I did make it with about a 15 minutes to spare. Yesterday was my first ever visit to Winchester, I love it. I met my boyfriend there a couple of hours before the gig, I kind of dragged him along to it so I hope he didn’t get too bored. The city looks amazing, it’s one of those cities that just seems to celebrate its age. The cathedral is pretty amazing too.

Having a gig in a cathedral intrigued me, I’ve never really heard of it happening before and it was an experience I’m so glad I had. As soon as you enter the enormity of the place hits you and inevitably you can’t help but wonder how immense Laura Marling and her support will sound.

Needless to say, they all sound amazing. The support band were called The Leisure Society, I’d never heard of them before but they did a pretty good cover of Erasure’s Little Respect, actually I’d say it was fantastic considering The Leisure Society are a folk/indie band.

There was also a point where they got all the audience to clap along with a song and it was sort of eerie the way it echoed around the building.

Of course, compared to the main act their set was a little mild. When Marling came on she jumped straight into I Was Just A Card. As is to be expected when an artist tours in support of a new release, most of te songs played were from her new album A Creature I Don’t Know. Almost every song was full of an impressive rumble that was improved by the almost obligatory echoing.

The set up of the 'stage'



I listened to an interview that Marling took part in on Radio 2 a couple of weeks ago and she brought up the point that even after years of touring she still hasn’t got the hang of talking between songs. This was something I failed to notice. It all seemed quite natural and although at times she was quite shy it didn’t come across that much.

She introduced the band by getting them to recite some facts they had learnt earlier that day on a tour they had taken and then carried on the gig. Ghosts was as charming live as it is recorded you just can’t help but get swept up in the story of it, it was another song that had a sort of eerie effect added by the cathedral. In some of her tracks Marling hums between lyrics, Ghosts being one of them, and it just seems to build up and up and up until she stops but the sound is still lingering in the air for moments afterward.

My Manic And I as well as Rambling Man and Goodbye Old England also stood out, this might just be down to the fact that they were from her other two albums, one of the few older songs to make it onto the set-list. My Manic And I was especially enjoyable simply for the fact that it was the song that got me into Laura Marling in the first place.

As the gig came to a close she became more talkative and a couple of songs before the end said something along the lines of: “We don’t presume that you want an encore, but we have a system that caters to everyone. If you do want an encore this is the last song, it you don’t want one, this is the second to last long.”

As the last notes died down (which takes a while in a building the size of Winchester Cathedral) we all stood up to give her a standing ovation (it was the first entirely seated gig both me and my boyfriend had been to).

I can’t wait for her to tour again and when she does I hope it’s in smaller, more intimate venues. While I loved the fact that we were in a cathedral and that Jane Austen was buried there and that me and my boyfriend were sitting right beside a brass memorial to her, I missed the intimacy you get at gigs where you’re standing amongst a crowd of strangers in a small venue.

I recommend Marling to anyone, of course she might be an acquired taste, but I certainly didn’t think it was one of mine until I played one of her albums on Spotify.


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