I hadn't planned on going to this show, hadn't tried to get tickets, but as luck would have it two of my good friends found a spare one for me and so I found myself on Wednesday rushing off the train from work, suitcase in hand, to see the lovely Laura. I think it might have been about the 7th or 8th time I've seen her (mostly due to her prolific festival attendance) and I didn't feel the same sort of rush of excitement that I used to. From the first time I saw her play live, I went through a spate of doing anything I could to get my hands on a ticket to one of her shows. Over time, this mania abated (as these things do), and had now grown to a near halt, largely due to a combination of increasing venue size and my uncertainty over her newest album, A Creature I Don't Know, whose influences I feel I often hear too baldly. There, I said it.
This said, I still knew it would be a good gig on Wednesday and a lovely night out with some friends, so there I was. We got there half way through the ever-sweet and dependable Pete Roe, followed by a fantastic set by Timber Timbre. Laura arrived on stage at about and I was instantly reminded of exactly why I've seen her play so many times. She started off with I was just a card, her sound filling the venue, and attaining the hush from the audience that her support had unfortunately been unable to garner. She struck a perfect balance between singing alone and using her very lovely band, reminded you that it was live by using the full range of her incredible voice and interspersed her songs with the indie-dreamgirl chat that makes everyone in the crowd want to take her out for tea (or propose to her...as many attempted to on the night...). There were a good few songs from each of her albums, as well as one newbie - my personal highlights being Blackberry stone, Alas I cannot swim and Sophia - finishing off with the flawless I speak because I can (no encore, thank you very much). And her gigs are always that, actually - flawless. So if you like her even a bit, do your best to see her at least once - I imagine she'll be at some festivals this year.