Proceedings for the night began in much of the same vein as it continued through out - a short film introducing a small community of friends and folk musicians who work with, and influence each other. They are the babes of the new folk scene in London which is slowly growing, and tonight included stirling performances by Laura Marling and band, Alessi’s Ark, Ethan Johns, Andrew Bird, Johnny Flynn, Mumford & Sons, Pete Roe, Peggy Sue and Sons of Noel and Adrian.
It sounds like quite a large gathering, and it was - a truly eclectic mix of styles with a total of 24 songs for the night. One would expect that the additional acts would be merely a distraction to the main event, but this certainly was not the case. Laura introduced the audience to the wonderful music of her friends, who put a convincing case together that this was also just scratching the surface of the untapped folk talent out there. I’m certainly going to be listening to many of them in alot more detail in the weeks to come.
It was great to see Laura in a different context to the solo aspect I experienced at the Hoxton gig some months back. Tonight she was accompanied by a keys, drums, cello, fiddle and bass, which all filled out the textures in her songs nicely. I couldnt help but draw some comparison between her and Nick Drake’s ‘Way To Blue’ when she sang with the cello. While I think she has already attained alot of the influence on others that Nick Drake had, I hope she has a much longer and prosperous life than he acheived. Her new album tracks are as good as - if not a growth from - her debut album, and I still strongly believe she has alot of potential as an era defining songwriter - the next Joni, Suzanne or Tori, and I personally cant wait!
Heres a few tracks from the night: