Live music review: Laura Gibson @ The Luminaire

By alexetc Last edited 104 months ago
Live music review: Laura Gibson @ The Luminaire

laura-gibson-luminaire.jpg Folk fans can't go far wrong seeking out nights like tonight, promoted by purveyors of all things folky The Local and hosted at London's little slice of Nashville, The Luminaire.

First Oh Ruin, Co Meath's Eoin O'Ruainigh, who sits perched precariously on a stool playing a battered acoustic. With his weathered, bluesy drawl and cover of Townes Van Zandt, it's an intoxicating, particularly homespun take on rustic country. Early days but definitely one to watch.

Next up, out of Portland, Oregon, Musée Mécanique's core duo of Micah Rabwin and Sean Ogilvie are accomplished multi-instrumentalists - little goes unplayed over the half hour - who conjure warmly enticing folk-pop that sits comfortably alongside Iron and Wine or J Tillman.

The duo return to provide sensitively arranged backing for tonight's headliner, fellow Oregonian Laura Gibson. Where they're city boys, though, she grew up in the country, and her mountain folk reflects that solitude and silence. Opening with the eerie burr of a bowed saw, she plays a pair of songs from last year's If You Come To Greet Me, "Hands In Pockets" and "Nightwatch"'. Wearing a vintage dress and with tumbling russet locks, she looks like she's stepped out of an early picture from the Old West, her old-time, rural folk captured in sepia.

Playing solo, Gibson covers traditional lullaby "All The Pretty Horses" and "Funeral Song" from this year's Beasts Of Season. With minimal backing, her voice comes to the fore, a supple instrument in its own right, sweet and melancholic. The band return for more songs from the new album, from the hesitant, lilting country of "Sweet Deception" to the appropriately-titled single "Spirited" which soars around her transcendent 'oohs'.

Finally to a mesmerising, almost unbearably lonesome "Glory", which, with just a little plucked guitar, Gibson's lyrics potent with memories, ends the set on a beautifully fragile note. There's just time for an encore, a gorgeous take on Leonard Cohen's "Take This Waltz", with which she proves, as has the night as a whole, that less really is so much more.

Last Updated 29 November 2009