Photos by James Arnold.
It’s weird to think that Marina & The Diamonds have been performing live for well over a year now. First witnessing Marina’s incendiary live show at Camden Crawl 2009, I’ve frankly been hooked ever since. As far as live performers go, she’s one-of-a-kind, a combined whirlwind of energy, emotion and dynamism that truly defines the live experience. Having said all that, she’s now a year into a pretty heavy touring schedule, arguably struggling to escape the shadow of friend and BBC Sound Of 2010 winner Ellie Goulding, but already piecing together her second, darker LP. Would Marina manage to stun a packed-out Leeds Met?
First however, was much-hyped support act Spark. Gaining a credible following through her slots on the rest of the tour, by this, the last date, her show was really showing polish. For a girl that finished college only a few weeks before, she performs astoundingly, flaunting herself in the way that only a future pop temptress can. The songs themselves are glorious cascades of pop, taut and writhing beasts that manifest themselves as future radio smashes at each and every turn. Managed closely since 2008, she’s clearly destined for a bright future.
You can stream or download Spark’s debut single, ‘Shut Out The Moon’, from the player above.
And so it begins. Swathes of smoke, overly atmospheric intro music, projections onto the back of the stage; it’s a much more full-blown affair than previous show, but then this is a Marina Diamandis riding the back of glowing album sales and press, ready to blow Leeds away. And blow she does with set opener Girls, a stomping storm of agitated instrumentation and equally frentic dancing. Launching from standout album tracks such as ‘Obsessions’ through to the pure-pop energy of ‘Hollywood’ or ‘Oh No!’, Marina shows all the charisma, energy, vibe and vitality of a pop princess. There is, for me, no denying the fact that she is one of the stand-out performers of the last few years, if not the decade. There, I’ve said it. That effortless combination of charisma, confidence, and unabashed showmanship is utterly infectious, deliciously organic, and brilliantly excecuted. If pop wears a crown, it’s Marina’s for the taking.
Marina’s debut album The Family Jewels is out now on 679/Atlantic with her next single, ‘Oh No!’, featuring remixes from Faux favourites Andy George & Jaymo among others out July 26th. Spark releases her debut single, ‘Shut Out The Moon’, on 12th July.