Marina and The Diamonds Live Review:
Thursday 18th February @ Manchester AcademyMarina and The Diamonds brought her ‘Neon Nature’ tour to Manchester Academy last Thursday, one of just a handful of UK dates before finishing off with her ‘Froot Sundae’ show in London’s Roundhouse on Sunday 21st. The event was complete with numerous costume changes, awe-inspiring vocals and striking performances of songs from all three of her albums.
Split into three acts, Marina once again proves she is nothing if not theatrical, with each act representing an era of her musical career so far. Opening with fan favourites from her debut The Family Jewels including I Am Not a Robot and Hollywood, before moving on to the much loved second album Electra Heart.
Having disappeared from the stage momentarily, Marina returns in pink latex, along with a remixed version of Electra Heart playing in the background, and an impressive cinematic screen displaying a bottle blonde Marina. She kicks off the second act with the popular first track from the album Bubblegum Bitch, followed by other much-loved numbers from the 2012 album. The audience seems truly elated at this point, singing along to every word and being reminded of Marina’s love affair with pop music. Her rendition of Primadonna is welcomed by cries of excited approval. It is a song that seems to epitomise this era, with its catchy, upbeat backing track contrasted with lyrics full of alluring cynicism, four years on it is still an absolute favourite for Marina fans.
For the final act the singer donned a blue sequined catsuit, a sparkling (and heavy-looking) cherry hairband and a cape, channelling a kind of outer-space superhero headed to a 70s disco. With just her silhouette visible on a platform above the stage, she jumps straight into a performance of the title track of her 2015 album Froot, while engulfed in a neon rainbow of lights. It is clear to see that her latest release is just as popular with the fans as the previous two have been, with the audience eagerly singing along to the likes of Can’t Pin Me Down and Forget. There is also a much welcomed cover of Cindi Lauper’s True Colours which seems to mash in perfectly with the set. The final act is ended with the melancholy single Immortal, a song that is both hauntingly beautiful and demonstrates the singer’s remarkable vocals.
It is difficult to watch a performance by Marina and not mention her undeniably devoted following, also known as ‘The Diamonds’. With hearts drawn on their cheeks and intricate hand-made banners, they chant the singer’s name. Marina returns for an encore of two final songs; the deeply personal Happy, to which she performed at her keyboard under a single spotlight, and closed with the much anticipated Blue, although first asking her fans to help her sing it (to which they fervently complied).
Marina, after briefly introducing the rest of the band, thanks the crowd and exits. As the audience begin departing the venue, there is a real sense of elation among the fans. It is easy to see that Marina genuinely loves performing to a live audience, which is why she is received with such enthusiasm. Here’s hoping it will not be too long before she makes a live appearance in the UK once again.
Written by Jamie Barton