Laura Marling @ Bannerman's, 12 Aug

Alas! I cannot breathe... Laura Marling sweats it out on her Bannerman's debut

Article by Finbarr Bermingham | 18 Aug 2008

“Is that sweat dripping from the ceiling?” an intrigued Laura Marling asks her first sold out crowd of the week. Indeed it is, dear. Welcome to Bannerman's. In fairness, the inquiry was borne out of curiosity as opposed to disgust: “I'm not normally a sweaty bird”, she graciously continues. There is little diva in Marling (born five months before Italia '90 kicked off). Her energies are mercifully channelled into her excellent music, and based on tonight: she's the real deal. Intermittent solo numbers are planted amongst full band backing. The stripped down former tracks accentuate the beauty of her voice, which refuses to waver even after she declares she's having trouble breathing. The latter showcase brilliantly her album's ramshackle Bohemianism – the closing hoedown of Alas, I Cannot Swim steals the show. Save a gaggle of 15 year old geese honking and squealing in the middle of the crowd, this gig is nigh on perfect, from a girl undoubtedly destined for things far bigger. [Finbarr Bermingham]