Two support acts tonight for a sold out Spring and Airbrake to enjoy with Boy and Bear taking the stage first. The five-piece Australian band are a cross between Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear and their thumping, harmonised sound immediately grabs the crowd's attention. If you had just walked into the gig you could be mistaken that this is the headline act due to their confidence and energetic performance.
Next up is Alessi's Ark, a singer-songwriter from London whose sound complements the impending arrival of Laura Marling. Beautiful lyrics and guitar playing is somewhat drowned out for those at the back of the venue as the crowd become a little restless. Her album, Notes From The Treehouse, was released last year and features many musicians that inspired her to begin making music such as Nate Walcott from Bright Eyes. But back to the gig and those who are tuned into her sound and flowing tunes have clearly enjoyed it and give her a good response.
When Laura Marling and her band come on stage she is given a huge welcome - it is clear that she has a massive following on these shores. After a quick hello she begins with Devil Spoke, a track from her second album, I Speak Because I Can. It is a strumming and bluesy track that sums up her folk style to which she is so well known for.
Mixing songs from her first album 2008's Alas I Cannot Swim, a highlight for Miss Marling must be when she sings Ghosts and the crowd shout every single word along with her causing her to lose her place and start laughing!
Other standout tracks include the heartbreaking Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) and Night Terror, performed to complete silence. A standout track for this reviewer is No Hope In The Air from her latest album, that lifts the crowd and then builds and builds until its climatic finish.
For those who are unfamilar with this artist comparisons can be made with Emiliana Torrini, Beth Orton and Joni Mitchell. Laura Marling combines beautiful melodies and mature lyrics and it is hard to believe that she is only 20 years old. Tonight, the crowd was clearly spellbound with her and when you discover her, you will probably feel the same.