Gig preview: Laura Marling, Pleasance Theatre

Whenever critics’ darling Laura Marling comes to town, it’s an evening that jumps out screaming EVENT.

The elfin folkster is no stranger to the Capital, having played many memorable gigs here over the years – her most recent visit being last year, when she played an intimate gig at The Caves shortly after the release of her fifth album, Short Movie.

Tickets for that one were like gold dust as they were only made available via a lottery system, with fans invited to register for tickets and then a select few picked at random.

The thrice Mercury Prize-nominated singer-songwriter clearly enjoys these low-key shows – in 2008, at a fledgling point in her career, she played two nights at Bannerman’s in front of a handful of in-the-know punters – and she keeps coming back for more.

Indeed, while the 26-year-old, who is rightly lauded as one of the biggest talents of her generation, could have chosen a much bigger venue for her return to Edinburgh this weekend, she has opted for not one but two nights at the Pleasance Theatre – a modest-sized venue in comparison to the Usher Hall, where she played in 2013 in support of Once I Was An Eagle.

This time around, Marling is using her double-header of gigs in the Capital as a warm-up 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.

Marling is currently working on her sixth studio album, which is rumoured to be called Semper Femina, which translates from Latin as ‘Always A Woman’. According to reports, the Hampshire lass has already played the entirety of the album live, at in gig in Chicago late last year, and it would appear to be ten songs long.

Now, given that she’ll be expected to play better-known numbers when she opens for Young on tour, it will come as no surprise if Marling opts to road-test some of her new material at the Pleasance Theatre this weekend.

Much was written about her decision to go electric on last album Short Movie, and it’s exciting to think what direction this ever-evolving artist will take next. Last month, she performed a new song called Wildfire at a gig in Brazil, and it’s really whetted fans’ appetites for what’s to come.

Laura Marling, Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, Friday 2 June + Saturday 3 June, 7.30pm, £20, 0131-650 4673

Words: Gary Flockhart