Review: Laura Marling - HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Laura Marling
Photo by Justin Ng
HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Wednesday 7th March 2012: Over 3500 people flocked in to the HMV Hammersmith Apollo to catch Laura Marling on her latest UK tour. Taking to the stage with her 6-piece band, which consisted of drums, keyboards, and various double & electric bass, banjo's, guitars, cellos and flutes, the audience were in for a treat of a performance.

Laura picked up her acoustic guitar and they went straight into I Was Just A Card, Laura's voice astonishingly sweet and crisp. A bluegrass kind of feel for The Muse with banjo adding to the lovely simple arrangement for a gorgeous sound. Don't Ask Me Why linked into Salinas effortlessly, and after a few more songs had been played, the band then left to leave Laura on her own in the spotlights.

Laura played a new song, Pray For Me followed by Flicker and Fail, of which a songwriting credit was given to her Dad who was in the audience. A few more solo tracks including a gorgeous rendition of Goodbye England (Covered In Snow), and the band came back on for the rest of the evening.

Each of the band members say hello to the audience by giving a small and random fact, the cellist did a lovely mock up of the Apollo spaceship using backstage kitchen items! Ending the show with Sophia, Rambling Man and I Speak Because I Can, the houselights came up and that was it. The end of a great evening of music.

The set design was simple yet elegant, no fancy projections or lighting, just six floor mounted curve trusses, a few moving lights and a couple of mirrorballs to set the scene. And that is all that is needed, the voice and the music is what you are there for, and the lighting just complimented it beautifully.

The only thing I didn't like about the evening were the beer sellers going round the auditorium throughout the performance. I find it very disrespectful to the performers who are doing a great job on stage, and the audience getting distracted from people with beer kegs and flags on their back trying to sell a couple of beers... Take note Hammersmith Apollo, if we want to buy a drink during the performance, we will go to one of your very pricey bars of our own accord!

Apart from that, a great set from Laura and her band, definitely worth seeing live if you get the chance.

Friday 9th Manchester OApollo 0844 477 7677
Saturday 10th Glasgow O2 Academy 0844 477 2000
Sunday 11th Stoke Victoria Hall 01782 213 800
Tuesday 13th Nottingham Royal Concert Hall 0115 989 5555
Wednesday 14th Southampton Guildhall 02380 632 601