My expectations of a city-trip to Bruges entirely revolved around quintessential Belgian stereotypes: fries, chocolate, and traditional medieval buildings. This is perhaps a little unfair to the miniature city in the west of Belgium – there was actually plenty more to it than that.
The tiny Welsh town of Trefor sits snug in the shadow of three huge hills on the North coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. I’d experienced rural Wales before, but not rural Wales like this. Driving into the village, it reminded us all of something out of a horror film – the lack of people, the grey cottages, the wind and rain. This was isolation on another level, and I felt about as far from London as it is possible to feel.
The Dutch pancake falls somewhere between the American pancake and French crêpes – not too thick, not too thin. Essentially there’s no real difference in the pancake recipe, but, not being able to settle for ingredients on the side or rolled into the pancake like a crêpe, the Dutch have aspired to cram as many possible tasty foods into the pancake batter itself. Pannenkoeken are quintessentially Dutch, and the ideal indulgent dinner.
Whenever I see Laura Marling live I’m always reminded of a performance she did on Jools Holland way back in 2007. It sticks with me – the way her eyes never stray from the floor, except to glance at her guitar to occasionally correct herself. I was once again reminded of this as I watched her perform songs from her sixth album, Semper Femina, at a livestreamed Q&A session at Goldsmiths University. She rarely made eye contact with any one of the 50 or so people in the room, but despite this, her gaze is stoic, confident. Perhaps it’s unfair to make such a comparison; naturally one would change over 10 or so years. But it seems with this album that Marling is ready to ponder questions about her own work that she previously never has, and the resulting songs are both self-assured and probing. Continue reading “Laura Marling Student Press Conference – 13th February 2017”