Not for her the often empty ritual of leaving the stage and reappearing with feigned surprise as a returning heroine, and for this the Home Counties troubadour should be applauded, although perhaps not too loudly.
Because it takes a special kind of performer to genuinely add to what has gone on before. Richard Thompson scoring the equivalent of an extra time hat-trick at this same venue earlier this year or Texas-based Eric Taylor having the PA switched back on in a Leith bar lounge to deliver a devastatingly epic murder ballad spring readily to mind. And Marling does not appear to pack that kind of weight.
What she does have that impresses is an extraordinary self-possession. It takes quite a force of personality to command a bare stage like this alone the way she did with hardly a murmur from her audience, even as she devoted, as she said, 15% of her on stage time to tuning her two guitars. We never did find out what happened between her and the now absent guitar tech. But that would be to go deeper than the surface, and while Marling has an attractive singing voice and is a capable guitarist, her performing style, for me, is more admirable than involving.
Songs such as the Master Hunter hinted at some root cause that riled her into creative action and the nostalgic Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) suggested a sense of time, place and frost in the air, but it took Townes Van Zandt's For The Sake Of The Song, her sole cover, to draw her closer to something with a sense of completeness.