"I'm Marina And The Diamonds". A cringe-worthy introduction, but let’s clear this up; Marina And The Diamonds are a solo act. The work of Welsh/Greek Marina Diamandis, the lady herself says that we are the diamonds.
When we interviewed Marina in early 2009, she had just begun recording her debut, and filled her schedule with triumphant performances across the festival circuit, including one at Camden Crawl. Her first show of 2010 is an important one, falling under MTV’s “10 for ’10” banner and with video cameras and industry bods watching her every move. Fortunately, the New Year finds a reinvigorated Marina. Supported by a new band and testing out some stage moves, there is a real sense of ‘happening’ in the air.
Her debut album 'The Family Jewels' arrives February 22nd, and she wastes no time in road-testing some of her new songs. “Are You Satisfied” opens the show, the luscious (keyboard generated) strings posing a serious question: just how good would Marina be with full orchestral backing?
There is something undeniably special about this woman; to start, she managed to outlast the barrage of British female singers threatening to ‘change music’. For now, she just about manages the balancing act of accommodating her up-tempos and ballads into her set, but she could easily enjoy a future as a full-blown pop star.
Her early experimentation and live performances consisted largely of vocals and a keyboard, and she returns to this formula for “I Am Not A Robot” and “Obsessions”, both hugely effective. “Hollywood” (out February 1st) offers ample opportunity to embrace her inner diva, particularly the legendary “Oh My God!” moment, complete with ridiculous gestures.
Closing with “Mowgli’s Road”, the “cuck-oo’s” rang out through the venue. The intensity couldn’t hide the fact that this show was a mere teaser. Taking in ten tracks in under an hour, we couldn’t help but long for more. Emerging for an encore (“You guys are naughty!”), she performed “Oh No!”, a thorough-bred pop song that is sure to invade at some point in 2010. Catch her in a small venue whilst you still can.
Marina & The Diamonds plays The Tabernacle tomorrow night. Keep an eye on Scarlet Mist for any returns. Words by Will Hines.