At the start of 2013 I made a list of artists I wanted to see during that year and Marika was one of them. When she has played this year I have had to unfortunately miss them because of clashes (I remember I wanted to see Marika play at The Great Escape this year but clashed with a band I wanted to see). Once when I saw Hackman was playing The Lexington I had full intention of being there. I purchased my ticket towards the end of November and when the day came I decided to work the Chloe Howl performance into it. Actually it worked rather well as I reached the venue around 7.15pm which meant I was the first one queuing and therefore I managed to get a spot centre right once inside.
At only 21 Marika Hackman is a talent to behold. Not only is she a splendid singer she is also an amazing songwriter with a mini album That Iron Taste already out there and a brand new EP called Sugar Blind. Devon based Hackman sang an incredible 9 song set which consisted of 6 tunes from That Iron Taste, 2 from Sugar Blind and finally a new one which has not featured on any release. Also Marika performed with Sivu as part of the encore as they both released 2 songs which they duetted on.
During this set I was left completely captivated and it showed me what I’ve been missing. It is lucky that I’ve caught her before she reaches the big time. Now that can actually happen because Marika Hackman is one exceptional singer/ songwriter whom has supported some phenomenal acts (Laura Marling in Australia is one of them). Before I knew Marika had supported Marling I could see traces of Laura during each song that was performed. Other than being confirmed to play Latitude next year, Marika Hackman will also be supporting The 1975 at the Royal Albert Hall. Back to the set. This was the 2nd date of the tour and was in fact a joint headline show with Sivu. Now he is one talented guy and completely captivated me from the very start of his set but I was really looking forward to seeing the incredible Marika Hackman live. The set kicked off with Bath Is Black. Now this tune was sweet sounding and it oozed folk vibes. I found this to be very enchanting and it was delivered to perfection. “My name’s Marika. Thank you all for coming down” Hackman told the sold out audience before getting stuck into Mountain Spines. Now this featured on the AA side début single and just witnessing it live was quite something. The vocal delivery was spine tingling and hypnotic at the same time. The current single Itchy Teeth was the next played. I must say this was absolutely incredible, I still have to hear the studio version but acoustic it was literally just WOW. It had been perfectly written, I found the lyrics to be slightly eerie and was Itchy Teeth was delivered at a gentle pace. Cannibal was flawlessly delivered even though the lyric content was rather creepy. Retina TV completely captivated me. Marika’s vocals were sweet and I found this to be quite poetic.
“This next one is another new one” Hackman said before diving into Cinnamon. This was the final new one of the evening and I loved it. Plans had a mellowing melody aided by brilliant lyrics. When Hackman made a mistake nearing the end of the song she picked herself off and delivered the ending without a hitch. The penultimate song on the night was Here I Lie and Marika’s summary of it was pretty hilarious “Someone goes down to the woods to meet their love. Their love doesn’t arrive so they just lie down and die. The twist is their love did actually arrive but the person did die before they arrived”. Now what I adored was the story telling lyrics. Here I Lie was faultlessly delivered and it was dark compared to the other material that had already been showcased during this set. “You’ve been a wonderful audience for putting up with me” Hackman mentioned before the set closer which was You Come Down which was the début single which was also backed with Mountain Spines. Basically I fell for Marika Hackman hook, line and sinker. The material which she sang completely captivated me and the vocal delivery can easily make you feel mellow inside. You Come Down was incredibly entrancing, beautiful and very delicate at the same time. The studio version of this was in fact produced by Johnny Flynn!!!!. The encore was unexpected and this being a first. This was performed for the first time at The Hope the day before. Now this was the Sivu and Marika duet. They both worked on songs and featured on them. The first being I Hold which was perfectly delivered. There were plenty of electronic beats which resulted in this terrific song. Whereas I Hold was a Sivu track featuring Marika Hackman. Skin which was the curtain closer was a Marika track featuring Sivu. This was hypnotising and ended one hell of an evening.
Bath Is Black
Here I Lie
You Come Down
OVERALL: I had wanted to witness Marika Hackman all year but never had the opportunity. I was won over with the material which was showcased and if you are a lover of folk then Marika is for you. She actually reminded me of Laura Marling.