Marina and the Diamonds @ The Tabernacle 25th June 2012

This date was due to take place on 3rd May 2012 but unfortunately the whole Lonely Hearts Club tour was postponed until the end of June. The factor of the postponement was down to Marina’s vocal problems. Back in May it was slightly gutting that the tour had been postponed but what this meant was in fact this was an event you had to be at. To start off with Diamandis’s sophomore album Electra Heart hit top spot and the choice of venue was the small and intimate Tabernacle which is buried away in Notting Hill. They could of easily upgraded the venue and still sell out. This was probably the only intimate Marina gig I’ll see this year as she announced earlier on in June she was playing HMV Forum this coming October. I arrived outside the venue at 10.30am. Early I know but Diamandis has a hardcore following of fans who attend every single show. To my surprise I was the first there which was good in a way because I was destined to be at the front. Fast forward to 7pm everyone started to filter into the upstairs venue and the main space started to fill up.

Taking stage dead on 19.30pm was American born Meredith Sheldon who powered through a 7 song set consisting of material from her début EP as well as a brand new song which hadn’t even been recorded. Originally the choice of support was due to be FOE but due to the fact the rescheduled dates weren’t possible in stepped the incredible Meredith Sheldon. For a support act I really enjoyed the set.

Things opened up with Saddle Up which was an impeccable song. Sheldon was on her electric guitar and was accompanied by both a drummer and a keyboard player. Here is a fact both Meredith and Willy Mason wrote this song. I am in love with this number its first line was “Just got back from London, We’ve been here for a while”. I could actually hear traces of The Joy Formidable. Straight after it was then into the powerful Sister. I found Sheldon’s vocals to be both sweet and luscious.  “How you guys doing? I’m Meredith Sheldon. I’m from Massachusetts. I’m very happy to be back here” Meredith said to the audience before referencing England’s elimination to Italy the prior night. It was then onto Free For All and this was a nice gentle number. I did find that the instruments were drowning out Sheldon’s beautiful vocals. Maybe that was down to the fact I was next to the speaker. After plenty of applause it was onto a song which doesn’t appear on the début EP and this being High Wire. The vocals were really strong and it was also played at a fast tempo. “This next song is called Metal Hand, which is not yet recorded except on YouTube” Meredith then said to the audience. Metal Hand was a promising song which offered plenty of promise. It makes me anticipate more brand new material. This track started off at a gentle and as soon as it progressed it got rather powerful. Reverie was an upbeat song and had some fantastic lyrics which fitted perfectly with its melody. “This is my last song, it’s called Can’t Explain and Marina and the Diamonds will be up next” Sheldon said ending with Can’t Explain. I must say Meredith’s vocals were extraordinary.

SET LIST

Saddle Up
Sister
Free For All
High Wire
Metal Hand
Reverie
Can’t Explain

Marina’s set opened up with the wonderful Homewrecker which features on the #1 album Electra Heart. Hanging from the ceiling was a florescent Electra Heart sign which lit up pink. As soon as Diamandis took to the stage wearing a prom dress the whole audience literally erupted. Homewrecker which was released as a free download in February in conjunction with the dates Marina played is one of my personal highlights from this sophomore album. This song was electro pop goodness and it has fantastic/ infectious lyrics. My favourite part had to be the fist thumping chorus. This track was Pet Shop Boys esque. “Trust me to get my veil stuck in my hair on the first song. I’m Marina” Diamandis then said before Oh No! Which featured on the 1st LP. For this song Marina put on her heart shaped glasses then delivered this infectious/ energetic song at ease.  It was then straight into Mowgli’s Road and everyone joined in with this song. This song oozed both charisma and energy. It was then onto brand new track and this being Lies. This was a gentle song which details about a relationship which is faltering. Lies was an audience pleasing song which was delivered to perfection. I Am Not A Robot then followed straight away and this turned out to be one massive sing along. I Am Not A Robot was delivered at a steady pace and Marina’s vocals were faultless. “It’s so nice to do a gig in a venue like this. I’m so happy to be here. I’ve always had great London gigs” Diamandis said before she put her nighty on. It was then onto The State Of Dreaming. Electra Heart is full of fantastic songs but this one is another of my favourites. It was electro pop at its best and had a fist thumping uplifting chorus. This song has to be a single as it is so amazing. After Marina left the stage only to return a minute later as she had a costume change.

It was then onto the current single and this being Power And Control. This song is about the power struggle in relationships. Power and Control was a lot different in style and is not your typical bubble gum pop. The style was electro meets house. “This next song is one of my favourites and I think my amazing collaborator and co writer is here tonight. He’s called Rick Nowels” Diamandis said before introducing the next song as Bubblegum Bitch. This song was full of electro pop goodness. Its lyrics were highly contagious. In my eyes it has what it takes to be future single material. Bubblegum Bitch was delivered at a furious pace and is also the opening number of the sophomore album Electra Heart. Starring Role followed on and this is a gentle song which was delivered with plenty of gusto. This number was played at a mid tempo. “This is an old classic. Can I say that after 2 albums” Marina said before revealing that Obsessions was one of her fist songs she played in London and there were just 7 people in the audience. Still Obsessions was a hypnotic song which Marina superbly plays on the keyboard. The verses were beautiful and infectious at the same time. Also I liked its quirkiness and I liked the slight fast pace of its second verse. “I just want to say thanks to my support for this Lonely Hearts Club tour. It’s Meredith Sheldon and she’s incredible. So thank you Meredith for coming along with me” Diamandis said before introducing her amazing band. “This next song sometimes we put it on the set list and sometimes we don’t. But tonight one of my best friend’s is in the crowd and he loves this song and so I’m playing it for him” Marina said before saying her friend is obsessed with it and she didn’t want to send it to him as Marina was scared of leaks. Hypocrates was the song and this was beautiful and had lyrics which fitted perfectly to the gentle melody. “This is my friend. I feel so jealous of her because I feel like her star is rising quicker than mine. And it’s like just because you were in the Primadonna video doesn’t mean your IT dog. She’s my toy friend. Someone actually commented the other day that they said Marilyn looks like she needs a wash. I was like RUDE, she’s alright. What could a fake, pink dog do?” Diamandis said before Primadonna. This song is a lot different compared to material from The Family Jewels. It actually starts with the gentle chorus and then followed by the thumping/ energetic verses. Marilyn was at the back slowly edging towards the ledge of the step. Shampain was the penultimate song of the evening. I adore its lyrics and Shampain was a number which gets you moving.  Straight after it was into a extended version of Radioactive. It felt as if it was a remixed version and the audience were going wild. This song didn’t make the cut for Electra Heart but did make it onto the deluxe edition. Radioactive was a startling song which was delivered faultlessly. “Thank you so much London” Diamandis said nearing the end of this fantastic song. Considering how hot it was everyone was heading for a meltdown. After Marina and the rest of the band went off stage only to return a couple of minutes later for a three song encore. “I’ve had a brilliant time and I can’t wait to play London again” Diamandis said before Teen Idle. Marina took to the keyboard and Teen Idle was a steady pace and exquisite vocals. Teen Idle was filled with regret over not experiencing her teenage years to the fullest. The entrancing Fear And Loathing was next and this was a beautiful ballad with lovely lyrics. Hollywood ended one phenomenal night and there was no need for an introduction because everyone knew it was coming. The burger came out for this infectious/ energetic number. Everyone jumped up and down for this song which was over before it began.

SET LIST

Homewrecker
Oh No!
Mowgli’s Road
Lies
I Am Not A Robot
The State Of Dreaming
Power And Control
Bubblegum Bitch
Starring Role
Obsessions
Hypocrates
Primadonna
Shampain
Radioactive

ENCORE

Teen Idle
Fear And Loathing
Hollywood

OVERALL: Even though I witnessed her support Coldplay earlier in the month this Tabernacle date was one I was looking forward too. The main factor being that she would be performing tracks from Electra Heart. I must say Homewrecker, The State Of Dreaming and Bubblegum Bitch have to be my favourites. The set design was very interesting it was like Diamandis’s room because you had a settee, TV and a coat holder. I look forward to the October date later on this year and I am guessing there will be a few changes to the set list.

As for the support. It was a shame that Foe could not support on the rescheduled dates but what we got instead was an artist whom was superb. I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for Meredith Sheldon.

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