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Laura Marling & Nathaniel Rateliff & the Wheel played LPR (pics), Mumford & Sons played Letterman (video)

by Andrew Frisicano

Laura Marling

I think I might be one of the last people to have heard about Laura Marling. I saw her for the first time at the BV-CMJ show at MHOW in October, and from the first note there her voice commanded absolute attention. If that was the bait, the songs themselves were the hook. The folk songs she puts together are delicately structured and tightly packed with fierce determinism, personal conflict and wisdom that belies her young age.

At (Le) Poisson Rouge on February 12th, Marling was accompanied by her piano/banjo player Pete Roe (who opened the show unannounced) and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel (who also opened). The band provided a chorus of harmonies and a beat to the songs. They burned through the hoedown of “Devil’s Spoke,” the first single off her new record, I Speak Because I Can, out April 6th in the US (March 22nd in the UK). On the record, the song is backed by Mumford & Sons, who are her band for the whole LP (the first of two planned for the year, the second being just her and Pete). Mumford & Sons play a sold-out Bowery show with Freelance Whales tonight (2/18). Mumford were on Letterman last night (with their signature harmonies mixes much too low). Video is below.

Back to Laura Marling, she commanded the packed audience at LPR with both her newer and older material (and a Neil Young cover). She described how wintery single “England Covered in Snow” was inspired by a snowy walk with her father, who told Laura, then 10, to take him back before his death (a place visited in a Times UK profile on Marling). There was humor too – Pete played a purposefully off-kilter version of “The Entertainer,” then forced Laura to restart a song with a mistake on his banjo. What was the problem? “Just playing the wrong notes…” he apologized. Laura wasn’t the slightest bit frustrated, a testament to her onstage maturity, and kicked things back into the closing “Alas I Cannot Swim.”

editor’s note: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel also killed it!

Marling tours the UK in April and is on the bill for Sasquatch Fest, happening over Memorial Day weekend. More pictures, album art and videos are below…

Pete Roe

Pete Roe

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling live at Le Poisson Rouge- Alas I Cannot Swim

Laura Marling Live at Le Poisson Rouge- No Hope in the Air

Laura Marling

Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man on David Letterman

Laura Marling -2010 Tour Dates
Apr 09 Belfast Limelight UK
Apr 10 Dublin The Academy Ireland
Apr 12 Manchester Lowry UK
Apr 13 Glasgow Fruitmarket UK
Apr 14 Edinburgh Queen’s Hall UK
Apr 16 Birmingham Alexandra Theatre UK
Apr 17 Cambridge Corn Exchange UK
Apr 19 Newcastle Tyne Theatre UK
Apr 20 York Opera House UK
Apr 21 Bristol Colston Hall UK
Apr 23 Southampton Guildhall UK
Apr 25 London Palladium UK
Mar 29/31 Sasquatch Fest Gorge, WA

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