YOU won’t see posters plastered across town for her visit to the Capital, but the mercurial Laura Marling is playing not one but two nights at the Pleasance Theatre this weekend.
Talk about flying under the radar. The gigs, taking place tonight and tomorrow, were announced a couple of weeks back on the elfin folkster’s official website, and even her press officer was in the dark about them.
“She’s playing in Edinburgh?” said her puzzled PR man when contacted for details. “That’s news to me!”
It’s not the first time Marling has come to these parts without the fanfare.
In the summer of 2008, at a fledgling point in her career, she sweated it out at Cowgate toilet venue Bannerman’s in front of 100-odd punters, and last year she charmed a sardine-packed crowd at The Caves.
Rightly lauded as one of the biggest talents of her generation, the 26-year-old can sell out venues the size of the Usher Hall when she wants to, but she clearly enjoys playing intimate gigs.
The singer-songwriter is using her double-header of gigs at the Pleasance Theatre as warm-ups before heading off to join Neil Young on the UK leg of the Canadian legend’s Rebel Content tour, which stops off at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on Sunday night.
The last time Marling came to town, she had just dropped her fifth long-player, Short Movie, and she’s currently working on album number six.
Yet another astonishing album from this critics’ darling, Short Movie saw the thrice Mercury Prize-nominated artist pushing into new territory with the inclusion of electric guitar.
It was an exciting new direction for Marling, and her fans, myself among them, can’t wait to see what she does next.
Chances are we won’t have long to wait. Last month, Marling performed a new song called Wildfire at a gig in Brazil, and it’s likely those lucky enough to be attending her gigs in the Capital this weekend will hear one or two newbies.