Trekking And Hiking

Music review: Laura Marling, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Whether by accident or design, there’s a sense of great aloneness about the Laura Marling live experience. She stands in the centre of the Usher Hall’s large stage, picked out by a spotlight and with only an interchangeable pair of acoustic guitars for comfort. Not even the usual buzzing fly presence of a guitar technician offers some respite. For reasons she “won’t go into”, she no longer travels with one, which means her shows are “pretty much fifteen percent tuning now. It’s all included in the ticket price.” Yet a stylistic aloneness doesn’t mean loneliness, and we’re very conscious of being one of the nearly three thousand-strong capacity crowd here with her, watching and listening intently.

Sri Lanka's Tamil community finally get provincial council vote

Every day Raja Padmanabhan, a 63-year-old bachelor living in a quiet area of Jaffna, hopes someone will hire his services. He has his own van and often drives doctors from the Jaffna hospital or – on longer trips – visitors from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora who want to see the former battlegrounds of the north or the calmer sites of Kandy or Sigiriya further south.  

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