Review: Laura Marling ****

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York Minster

EVEN by Laura Marling’s high standards, this was big.

The Brit-award winning singer, who has helped revive the folk genre among the younger generation with her stunning vocals, has decided to take her talent into some of the country’s finest cathedrals on this For Whom The Bell Tolls tour.

Aged just 21, despite all of her authoritative class, you fear dominating the majestic York Minster may just be too gargantuan for someone so delicately slight.

However, while admitting being in slight awe of the imposing venue, Marling manages to master all that splendid and eerie space to create a fitting union of two grandiose forces.

Initially starting out with her band, the obvious echo around the imposing cathedral sometimes causes problems but the second segment of the show, ironically when she commands the stage on her own armed only with her acoustic guitar, sees the Hampshire singer demonstrate her real finesse.

Marling showcases her latest album A Creature I Don’t Know, including wonderful renditions of The Muse and Sophia, but there is also plenty of material from the outstanding debut that shot her to fame at just 17.

The iconic Rambling Man and a wonderfully intimate Goodbye England from last year’s I Speak Because I Can are further treats as her delicate charms leave the audience realising they have witnessed a truly unique and mesmerising experience.

The band returns for a rousing finale but, undoubtedly, whoever came up with the initial suggestion of marrying Marling’s captivating sound with such a breathtaking location deserves the biggest applause of all.