It was a peculiar sort of atmosphere – a small venue, not very full, possibly the most expensive horrible beer in the world and all very polite and restrained. However I think it’s a mistake to think of this in terms of a gig, it being more a live recording session.
Laura was on first. The performance was polished and assured, none of the nerves I thought I detected in her live song on radio 4’s Loose Ends on 16 February. She looks as though someone’s given her a bit of a makeover, the sharp haircut making her look both more sophisticated and younger at the same time. The audience was quiet and unresponsive, sadly.
Despite her clearly not being Joni Mitchell (whom she apparently adores and with whom she is frequently compared) I still find her material wonderfully enjoyable. She was accompanied on stage by the multi-talented Marcus Mumford who played at least six different instruments, sometimes several at a time.
She wasn’t the only act. Also on the bill were the Mystery Jets with whom she performed a song (Young Love, their forthcoming single) at the end of her set.
There was a certain amount of bad hair and dubious knitwear on display among the band members.
The other act was a young man called Natty, for whom the word “winsome” is an inadequate description.
He was on after Laura and, frankly, drove us away. We collectively decided we could live without seeing more acrylic sweaters (the Mystery Jets were on last) and promptly decamped to a nearby pub which the ever-knowledgeable Hg assured us served real, delicious beer at normal London prices.
(The photoset from the evening can be seen here.)