Monthly Archives: October 2012

laura marling 09.02.12

After seeing her at Laneway over the weekend, I simply couldn’t pass off another opportunity to watch Laura Marling play, especially at the Opera House. She played two entire sets, with the first half being her latest album, A Creature I Don’t Know in its entirety. Backed by a band made up of drums, double-bass, banjo, a cello and keyboards noticeably different from the more folk-oriented album, they reflected the strength of Laura’s more developed, and flawless vocals from the heartfelt I Was Just a Card (which Laura mentioned was actually written whilst in Australia during her last tour), to a fierce version of The Beast. Sophia was met with the loudest applause, as well as the more upbeat All My Rage.

Following a short interval, Laura and her band were back again to play what were clearly crowd favourites including Ghosts and My Manic and I. She and the band were clearly enjoying themselves, Laura treating everyone to some very amusing banter including interesting facts shared throughout the evening, for instance: that the inspiration for the song Alas I Cannot Swim came from an Iranian poem, or that the Queen is a frequent drinker of alcohol and also possesses a driving licence. When the band were introduced, the crowd was lucky enough to be further entertained by several doses of British humour. Sound wise, the acoustics in the Opera House emphasised the dynamics, especially noticeable during one of the highlights, Alpha Shallows. Laura also debuted an epic Andalucian-styled song for ‘pure self indulgence’ and purposes of ‘living life on the edge’ which was a real pleasure to hear.

For those who’ve not seen Laura Marling before, she explained that they didn’t do encores, as they think it should be something spontaneous (as do I), finishing off with the title track from the second album, I Speak Because I Can, and modestly and humbly left the stage to a standing ovation from a full house at the Opera House.

The Muse
I Was Just a Card
Don’t Ask Me Why
The Beast
Night After Night
My Friends
Rest in the Bed
All My Rage 


My Manic and I
Alas I Cannot Swim
New Song (unknown title)
Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)
What He Wrote
Rambling Man
Alpha Shallows
Made by Maid
I Speak Because I Can

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Muse – The 2nd Law

Muse have been, and will always be one of my favourite bands. Their appeal lies within a number of things, lead singer Matt Bellamy’s vocals, which work so well with the electric guitars, their outer space-related themes (I’ve always been a bit of a physics-nerd), or just simply their worthy of mention guitar riffs that set them aside from other British Rock bands. As of late, they’ve thrown most, if not all of this, out the door, especially with the release of their later albums, The Resistance and more recently, The Second Law. They’ve begun to tackle more ambitious themes of political domination, war and revolution, contrasting their more introspective earlier work.

The title of the album is based on The Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is referenced in the two part climax and alludes to destruction and disorder, exactly what the album is centred around. It is a wild pastiche, with echoes of Queen, especially in their hit, Madness, David Bowie and more contemporary dub-step electronica throughout. Their fan following (which has never been modest), has grown exponentially, following the success of the Twilight franchise, and now the Olympics, with the song Survival. Arguably, it is this same massive fan base which can be deemed responsible for the band’s ambitious attempt to encapsulate too many of their exorbitant ideas in one go.  Save Me and Liquid State are a pleasant surprise with bassistChris Worstenholme stepping up to the microphone, but further more add to the lack of orientation in the album. An overall disappointing effort, despite its promising construction, in practice, it lacks coherence.

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