Words by Holly Pyke / Picture supplied by Purple PR
There was a mixed audience for Marina and the Diamonds. One of teenagers, a small collective of fans in their 20’s/30’s, and a few parents begrudgingly accompanying their youthful offspring; heavy with the realisation they would be standing for the entire show.
The set reflected Marina’s kitsch and retro style: pink fluffy rug, old fashioned TV (which played black and white TV clips intermingled with footage of Marina and the Diamonds throughout the show), retro wallpaper backdrop, a maroon chaise longue and a massive pink neon Electra Heart sign hanging overhead.
The support act, an American singer/songwriter called Meredith Sheldon, was entirely forgettable; with one nearby fan expressing “nice pair of legs but that’s about it”.
(Ed – I like Meredith Sheldon, and I’ve never seen her legs. TO GOOGLE)
The lights went out and the crowd went wild, before anyone had even set foot on stage. When Marina entered in her pink leather mini dress, long white gloves and bridal veil, and began singing ‘Homewrecker’, the room erupted once more. The rest of the song was accompanied by screams of adoration.
From there on in, every single song met a room of people who knew every single word. However, the sublime ‘I Am Not a Robot’, from Marina’s first album – ‘The Family Jewels’, together with ‘Primadonna’, from her current ‘Electra Heart’ album, generated particular excitement.
Around halfway through her set, Marina made a quick costume change into a beautiful emerald green vintage 1940s dress; thrilling one of the audience into throwing a pink bra and a Barbie doll onto the stage. She then thanked the venue for letting her play in “such beautiful surroundings”, before performing ‘Power and Control’.
Marina and the Diamonds closed with an electric performance of ‘Radioactive’, leaving the room in a state of delighted uproar.
An immediate call for an encore followed, inciting such fervent chanting it would’ve been dangerous not to come back on stage. I feared a teenage riot.
Obligingly, Marina walked back on stage, alone, in a full length silver sequined dress; before taking her seat at the keyboard for a moving performance of ‘Teen Idle’. ‘Fear and Loathing’ followed, before an energetic performance of ‘Hollywood’, complete with yellow pompoms.
Marina and the Diamonds were obviously well loved that night, by a venue full of people singing, clapping and jumping – even in the balconies (much to the frustration of security staff).
Marina’s vocals sounded better live than any recorded version I’ve heard, containing greater depth and expression.
Plus her performance was so energetic, interactive and completely enthralling, I have now joined the ranks of Marina’s hardcore fans. With only a few years (and my appreciation for seating) to tell us apart.
For more on Marina and the Diamonds, visit http://www.marinaandthediamonds.com
For further gigs at the HMV Institute, visit http://venues.meanfiddler.com/hmv-institute/home