Thursday, 6 March 2008

*Laura Marling/Johnny Flynn/Mumford & Sons @ Union Chapel, London (Live)

Union Chapel is by far, as specialist gig venues go, one of the most beautiful places around. I mean yes you are sitting in pews, and there is no alcohol allowed in those pews but that kind of enhances things. Instead of drunk people, you have nice quiet people, and for nice quiet music it's very fitting.

Mumford and Sons were up first, definitely one of the most exciting unsigned bands in London at the moment. We’re already big fans, Marcus has a truly beautiful voice, the other boys in the band manage to harmonize with him flawlessly and the way Winston plays the banjo with that signature swaying/humping motion is always...captivating. In short, they are charming, very British, and provide you with a healthy dose of heartbreak and hope. - White Blank Page - Roll Away Your Stone - Feel The Tide Turning

Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit were second, energetically mixing anti-folk with country, again embracing beautiful harmonies - especially between Johnny and his sister Lilly. Their vocals particularly stood out when their instruments stopped and they sang a three part harmony acapella, a pretty brave choice, it only showed the strength of their pipes. - The Box

Laura Marling was of course, the headlining act who everyone was there to see. With the recent release of her debut, 'Alas, I Cannot Swim' people were excited in that way that fans of new artists always are. She played almost the whole record (apart from two of our favourite songs; 'Failure' and 'Captain & The Hourglass' but we'll forgive her). She has chosen to add a string section for the gig which always manages to enhance the dramatic qualities of songs. Laura's voice blended beautifully with Marcus, and while at first talking to the audience seemed like a bit of a challenge she warmed and became more confident as the show went on. One of the most charming things about the evening? She encored with Kimya Dawson cover of ‘Be Mine’, clearly known by the band but not necessarily practiced, the whole band collapsed into laughter at the end of the song. It's always good to know people don't take themselves too seriously...

No comments: