Laura Marling In Concert Hear the British folk-rock musician perform a set full of rage, laughter and gorgeous, tear-jerking music, recorded live from Washington, D.C.'s Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

Live in Concert

Laura Marling In Concert

Laura Marling In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/141008052/141049671" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

In spite of Laura Marling's admission that she doesn't play encores, the audience couldn't be faulted for standing and hollering at the end of the singer's set at the 6th & I Historic Synagogue on Sept. 27. At just 21, the British folk-rock musician put on a captivating show that wound smoothly through songs from all three of her full-length albums and even included one new, unreleased song.

Marling, who frequently performs with nothing more than her voice and guitar, brought along a full band this time, complete with banjo, electric guitar, drums, horn, cello and upright bass. The singer took turns performing solo and alongside the band, holding her audience rapt with either arrangement, as Marling's smoky voice reverberated across the pews and soared upward toward the dome of the sanctuary. In quieter solo moments, the only audible sounds were that voice, Marling's deftly plucked acoustic guitar and the creaking of old wooden floorboards.

Of course, those quiet moments were offset by walloping numbers in which Marling stood howling before her full band. The cacophony from so many instruments could have become muddled in such an intimate space, but instead it lent the songs thunderous power that seemed to shake the dust from the old synagogue's ceiling.

The set wasn't all dark and stormy, though. Although Marling claimed to be bad at stage banter, she quickly proved otherwise, putting the audience at ease with her candor and easy charm. She demonstrated sharp comedic timing and a dry sense of humor when explaining how she copes with her lack of stage presence by simply addressing the audience with a series of basic facts. ("The first fact is, this is the guitar we recorded the album on. The second fact is, this is a song from the album.") Her struggle to keep herself from swearing produced even more laughter.

It was a show that worked on all emotional levels, full of rage and gorgeous, tear-jerking music, but also a refreshing sense of lightness. Although Marling didn't return to the stage for an encore as she'd warned, she expertly left the crowd begging for more.

Set List

  • Rambling Man
  • Alpha Shallows
  • Alas I Cannot Swim
  • Ghosts
  • I Was Just A Card
  • The Muse
  • Hope In The Air
  • Don't Ask Me Why
  • Salinas
  • England (Covered In Snow)
  • New Song (Untitled)
  • Night After Night
  • Blackberry Stone
  • Sophia
  • I Speak Because I Can
  • All My Rage
[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Oh Pep! On Mountain Stage

Hear Oh Pep! perform songs on Mountain Stage with strong hooks fortifying the musical balance of pop and roots.

Oh Pep! On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/714654069/714680813" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Karine Polwart Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 22, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Karine Polwart Trio

Scottish singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart seldom comes stateside, eschewing air travel to reduce her carbon footprint. But on a rare, recent visit, she stopped in D.C. for a Tiny Desk.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Anaïs Mitchell On Mountain Stage

Every time Anaïs Mitchell performs on Mountain Stage, she embarks on new creative territory. For Mitchell, her 2007 song "Why We Build the Wall" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Anaïs Mitchell On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/709654614/709862631" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Courtney Marie Andrews performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 2, 2019 (NPR). NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Courtney Marie Andrews

It was a day when sunlight drenched the office and the songs of heart from Courtney Marie Andrews felt right at home.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Leftover Salmon On Mountain Stage

The jamgrass originators and Mountain Stage alums played a largely acoustic set of songs from the 2018 album Something Higher.

Leftover Salmon On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/707405279/707562729" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Andrea Cruz performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 4, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Andrea Cruz

The singer from Puerto Rico is part of a movement on the island that emphasizes largely acoustic instruments and a folk-based approach to interpreting life before and after the hurricane of 2017.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Greensky Bluegrass On Mountain Stage

With endearing, richly-orchestrated songs from its album All For Money, the Kalamazoo-based quintet Greensky Bluegrass returns for a third appearance on Mountain Stage.

Greensky Bluegrass On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/705536769/705544288" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Graeson Baker/WVU Arts & Entertainment

Gregory Alan Isakov On Mountain Stage

Farming by day and creating at night is the process that inspired Isakov's latest album, Evening Machines. Listen to the live set on Mountain Stage.

Gregory Alan Isakov On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/703181887/703329345" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Kaia Kater performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 24, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Kaia Kater

Multi-hyphenate artist Kaia Kater uses the architecture of roots music, which she studied in West Virginia, to establish a simultaneous dialogue with both the present moment and her own past.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Amy Ray Band On Mountain Stage

One half of Indigo Girls, Amy Ray makes her 10th appearance on Mountain Stage with songs from her latest album, Holler.

Amy Ray Band On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/701048030/701049428" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top