She’s a Diamond

After coming second on the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll, Marina Diamandis (aka Marina and the Diamonds) has had no shortage of success. Her debut album The Family Jewels peaked at no.5 in the UK charts. Five singles were released, three of which ranked well in the top 40.

But were the statistics anything to go by? Was Marina all she cracked up to be? On the 2nd of November, I found out…

As I stood in the queue for Tuesday’s show, I promised myself I would try not to be biased when writing a review, seeing as I am nothing short of a die-hard fan. Unfortunately, I think this will be tricky.

London pop singer, CocknBullKid kicked off proceedings with a lively and enjoyable set. Intelligent lyrics and honest themes were complimented by a strong voice and a great stage presence that soon won over the support of the crowd.

However, the anticipation for the headline act was etched clearly on everyone’s faces and people’s patience couldn’t last much longer. Chants and ‘whoops’ of glee erupted as Marina and her band finally took to the stage. After an interesting musical introduction where Marina “Welcomed us all to the Family Jewels” the show soon became a colourful delight. A mix of vulnerable, magical and defeaningly powerful songs enchanted the audience and held it’s attention from beginning to end. The epic scale of her live performances greatly outweighed the somewhat tame album versions. Everyone gasped when the sheer volume of ‘Rootless’ literally took your breath away.

‘Hollywood’ and ‘Oh No!’ were the main crowd-pleasers with catchy choruses that made everyone jump in unison. Crazy monkey sound effects and scatter-brained melodies comprised the charmer that is ‘Mowgli’s Road,’  and in a well-deserved encore, Marina made some eyes water with a solo piano set featuring another fan-favourite, ‘Obsessions’.

Taking a leaf from the book’s of Cher and Avril Lavigne, Marina broke up the show with several instrumentally-covered costume-changes and some interesting props; a foam burger, a flashing belt and glowing lip-paint to name a few. It gave the show a slightly theatrical feel which was alien to me… But it worked.

For a fan expecting the best, the best is what I received. From start to finish, Marina delivered an energetic and strong performance that had the crowd jumping, cheering and screaming with joy. Seeing Marina and the Diamonds live is an experience that nothing else can really be compared to. It’s a rollercoaster of a night and one that should not be missed by anyone.

Sam Eastop.

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6 Responses

  1. you really can write!
    even though have to say i think cocknbullkid deserves a bit more highlight in this article as they were brilliant and the drummer is worth mentioning as well even though he didn’t pull any difficult tricks (but what do i know? do i play droms? no. not yet, that is) but was still impressive.
    and i could’ve given you photos. well, they might not be the best thing you’ve seen but considering what ‘soap’ camera with those were taken you have to consider them decent.
    anyway, well done. it was a great night.

  2. Thanks Signe, I appreciate the feedback.
    It did take me a while to decide how much to include on Cocknbull kid. I wanted the emphasis to be on Marina, although I probably could’ve said a bit more, as you said.
    It was a good night indeed. Thanks again!

  3. Very well written, you can really create a great sense of the atmosphere through the words used, sounds good (the gig and the blog!).

  4. Cannot believe you didn’t mention the WINK in your blog! After all the hype you gave it 🙂 Haha.

    I was going to blog about this gig myself…..but I knew you would want to and I’m kind like that 🙂 Haha!

    ‘Obsessions’ was definitely my favourite song of the night. I didn’t realise she could play piano – it was awesome! The effect of the illuminous lipstick/nails/belt was cool too! It felt like a rave at that point – well, not quite.

    Julia xx

    • First of all, it was a wink/smile/cheeky wave! XD

      Aww, thanks…I was really stuck for ideas recently so I’m glad you showed that kindness. I wouldn’t bear a grudge if you chose to blog about it too, mind!

      Definitely a highlight, I didn’t know she could either! I do prefer her upbeat songs though, and the new one ‘Jealousy’ was a cracker.

      Glad you had a great night too. 🙂

      Sam

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