Who: Laura Marling
Where: 99 Sudbury, Toronto
When: Wednesday 25 May, 2013
In One Wordâ„˘:Â Letdown
English folk singer Laura Marling made a stop in Toronto on a small promotional tour of her upcoming album release Once I Was an Eagle. The young twenty-something artist has been compared to such Canadian icons as Joni Mitchell â€“ which I get only when you compare their guitar playing technique â€“ alternate tunings to accommodate open chords; other than that, I donâ€™t see it. Joni Mitchellâ€™s melody lines and lyrics are far more listener friendly.
Donâ€™t misunderstand me – Laura Marling has guitar playing chops. So much so, that regular, standard tunings seem to bore her, so from song to song, sheâ€™s fiddling about with her guitar. Tuning her guitar between songs isnâ€™t too much of a distraction, especially since it forces her to try to connect with her audience. With the intimate size of the venue, making a connection with her audience should be her priority. Itâ€™s unfortunate that she seems to lack the experience and / or comfort level to engage them â€“ after all, they are her fans, they buy her music and as she herself, told us, â€śprovide her livelihood.â€ť She did recount a couple of stories which were well received, but with so many breaks in between songs, she certainly has to build up a bigger repertoire.
The venue, â€śThe Galleryâ€ť located within 99 Sudbury, was pretty horrible. It was just a box with concrete floors (which allowed falling beer bottles to resonate throughout the venue while Ms. Marling was performing) and so-so acoustics. All of the above contributed to a so-so performance with a few vocal stumbles and a duration of less than an hour. For the price of the ticket, I expected a decent amount of time for her set, as well as a decent venue.
Â© Â Dee Dee Duric, Music Vice