Marina and the Diamonds @ St George’s Church 25th February 2012

I’ve been a fan of Marina Diamandis since the day I saw her play at The Enterprise as part of The Camden Crawl in 2009. You could say from that moment her music became an obsession of mine resulting in me seeing her whenever she’s performed in London. Fast forward to 2012 and Marina is gearing up for the release of sophomore album Electra Heart. Initially the band were due to set to play a NME Awards Show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 26th February. Then another two dates were announced the first in Cambridge and the second being Brighton. As I was starved from seeing Marina play live in 2011 (beside the Little Noise Session performance) I therefore decided to purchase a ticket. When the day came I left for Brighton around 11am (It was a Saturday I had expected people to get there early) and arrived an hour later. The one problem about St George’s Church is the fact it is a real trek from the station (30 minutes I would say). I arrived at the venue at 12.40pm only to find them unloading and I also found myself being the only fan there. In a way it was a good decision to get there early as it wasn’t long before the next lot of people. Fast forward to the time the doors open and I was near enough frozen. Once in I got my wristband (for a free MATD song) and made my way to the front row. What made this gig extra special was the fact it was all seated and was rather intimate at the same time. A steward nearly put a dampener on the whole evening as he confiscated digital cameras as no one could take photos. Lets just say quite a few people were arguing their case. You can confiscate professional cameras but not digital ones. In the end the rule was changed to you can take photos but no flash. The support act of the night was Eugene McGuinness. Now I have not seen him play for almost three years but I remember I was so impressed I purchased his first lot of vinyls. This time Eugene had a backing band and had changed a lot since the last time I saw him play. The set was only kept to 7 songs and was wrapped up in 30 minutes. All of these tunes being brand new tracks. In fact I really liked them and look forward to hearing the studio versions of them.

SET LIST

Shot Gun
Joshua
Harlequinade
Sugar Plum
Video Game
Lion
Thunderbolt

Around 9pm it was onto the main course. This being an extraordinary surreal set by Marina and the Diamonds. I have seen Diamandis a number of times over the past 4 years but this claims the award of the best Marina and the Diamonds gig. Things kicked off with the current single Radioactive and this was a rather epic. The lights then went out and Diamandis walked down the aisle to get onto the stage. To be honest this was rather surreal. This acoustic piano led song was a real audience pleaser. Marina’s vocals were simply impeccable. Unfortunately Radioactive doesn’t feature on the physical version of Electra Heart. There was a short introduction for Are You Satisfied, this being the chorus which had been slowed down. Straight after it was then into the song which hit you full on. The lyrics were quirky, the chorus was extremely powerful and the song itself was rather up tempo. It was then onto another track from The Family Jewels and this being The Outsider. This song had a steady pace and was delivered powerfully. “Brighton, It’s very nice to see you again. I feel very privileged to be playing in this venue and thankyou for coming. Well this next song is a new one it’s from my 2nd album called Electra Heart” Diamandis said before launching into Homewrecker. This was the free song that was given away and honestly it does have single potential. The spoken verses are amazing and the chorus is packed with a punch. This was an Electro Synth-Pop song which does sound very Pet Shop Boys. “This is Marilyn by the way” Marina said to the audience. Now Marilyn was a stuffed dog. Next up was Living Dead and for this song Diamandis was seated on a stool. The vocals were superb and this song touched on the main themes of Marina’s earlier work which were loneliness, alienation and outsiders. “We’re going to do Robot” Marina then said to the audience. I Am Not A Robot was as a massive sing along. This song was delivered perfectly and the acoustics from Marina’s operatic vocals sent shivers down my spine. “Would you like to hear another new song? It’s called Primadonna and it’s my first single off Electra Heart. People think Radioactive was the first but it wasn’t. So I just want to make that clear” Diamandis said before introducing her band. Primadonna is set to be released on 16/04/12 and this song is a lot different compared to material from The Family Jewels. This song actually starts with the gentle chorus and then followed by the thumping verses. Primadonna will be one amazing single and I can’t wait to have it in my hands.

It was then onto Starring Role. This had a mid tempo pace and was very smooth. Marina then took to the keyboard and what followed after was Chinese whispers. The song which followed was the gentle ballad Obsessions. This was the first ever Marina and the Diamonds single and is extremely quirky at the same time. Everyone sang along to this beautiful song. Straight after it was then onto Numb. This song has now turned into a beautiful duet which sounded incredible. Then after that song it was onto Oh No! Which has extremely infectious energetic lyrics. “These 3 shows, I’ve got one tomorrow are the first damn shows I’ve played these new songs. I’m really pleased. As you all know if you’ve been to a concert before of mine I absolutely love Brighton” Diamandis said before getting stuck into Jealousy. This song was very catchy and vocally it sounds fantastic. I love this song why it didn’t make the cut on the 1st album I do not know. Mowgli’s Road then ended what was an incredible night. This song oozed both charisma and energy. Mowgli’s Road was delivered to pure perfection. “Thankyou so much for coming. You’re very relaxed” Marina then said to the audience. As she couldn’t get off the stage there was no encore. Instead she just launched into the lovely ballad Fear And Loathing. During the song she parted my side of the audience and came into the crowd. The evening ended with the infectious Hollywood. This song oozed energy and I was tempted to jump up and down. But with the fact everyone had stood for the performance and the stage was very low (It was like one step) jumping up and down was not a wise idea.

SET LIST

Radioactive
Are You Satisfied?
The Outsider
Homewrecker
Living Dead
I Am Not A Robot
Primadonna
Starring Role
Obsessions
Numb
Oh No!
Jealousy
Mowgli’s Road
Fear And Loathing
Hollywood

OVERALL: As I previously said this was the best Marina gig hands down. As expected during the set everyone stood and edged their way forward to the tiny stage throughout the set. This made the intimacy rather surreal. I even got a nudge from Marina where she said Hello to me prior to singing Mowgli’s Road. Once the evening was over myself and a lot of other Diamonds waited outside the entrance in hope for Marina to come out. I was leaving at 10.45 even if she hadn’t come out. She came out around 10.30ish. I got the set list signed had a couple of words with Marina then left to get the train buzzing after what I had just witnessed.

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