Laura Marling at the Roundhouse
Laura Marling ended her UK tour last night at Camden’s iconic Roundhouse, on a stage scattered with flowers. She began with Soothing, a prowling, eery and infectious song, which is the lead single from the singer’s latest album Semper Femina. Following this, and without much of a pause between, came five further new tracks. These included Nothing, Not Nearly, detailing a year of soul-searching and depression, and Always This Way, examining a quarter-life crisis, with Marling singing, “25 years, nothing to show for it, nothing of any weight”.
The titular lyric Semper Femina appears in Nouel. Latin for “Always a woman”, this refrain is from Virgil’s poem The Aeneid, but Marling has adopted it to instead provide her own perspective on women in her life.
Before playing the last number of the night from her latest release, the singer thanked the audience for being patient enough to sit through six new tracks in a row, saying she herself would probably have fallen asleep. There was no danger of that; Marling’s voice is hypnotisingly beautiful and the lyrics of each new tune tell a story worth hearing, with themes ranging from depression and gender identity to the classic trials of friendship and relationships. The songs sound almost instantly recognisable, and many members of the crowd were already familiar enough with the material to sing along with every word.
Nevertheless, after the band returned to the stage after a short unaccompanied segment, they launched into older material, which was enthusiastically welcomed by the audience. The show was brought to a close with the soaring Rambling Man from the singer’s second album, I Speak Because I Can, a reminder of the beautiful nu folk songs that first made Marling famous, and at the same time, demonstrating how much her sound has developed.
Photo: Derek Robertson
For further information about Laura Marling and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Soothing here: