Jamie Tabberer

Gig review

Marina & the Diamonds

For some peculiar reason she's played no other London dates this year; nevertheless Marina and her very realistic looking blonde wig (IS it a wig? We're not sure anymore) were out in force in deepest, darkest Hackney last night. She was gigging at night three of Mencap's Little Noise Sessions in support of one of the countries leading charities for people with learning disabilities.

Elbow opened the series of concerts on Tuesday, at the beautiful St-John-At-Hackney church; Coldplay perform tonight. Friday, meanwhile, sees a double bill of GT favourites – Goldfrapp AND Alpines.

So let's face it, last night's headliner Marina is certainly rubbing shoulders with some gargantuan sellers. Musical giants with umpteen albums behind them to Marina's one. But she's more than deserving of the accolade: with her inimitable voice (that's improved vastly since GT first met her back in January 2010, she's learning to reign it in), wacky songs and fascinating lyrics she's got the goods to become a bona fide superstar. If her new material is anything to go by, her second album campaign might prove the tipping point fans have been waiting for.

Two of her strongest new songs acted as bookends of sorts on last night's set list. The glorious electropop of Radioactive was stripped away and the track was performed near-acoustically, showcasing the power of Marina's voice and her wan, casually sexy stage presence. Meanwhile the chillingly bleak and severe ballad Fear and Loathing, helped in part by an excellent lighting display, turned the truly unique choice of a music venue from something warm and eccentric into something momentarily cold and unnerving.

Elsewhere the set was comprised mostly of the sparkiest numbers from debut album The Family Jewels; her confident delivery, bolstered and also kept in check by a string section, was at its best on the ethereal beauty of maturer tracks like Obsessions, I'm Not A Robot and the almost Enya-like Numb; some of the more left-field pop songs like Oh No! are still fantastic but don't pack quite the punch they once did. But if the sheen of Radioactive is anything to go by, her sophomore effort Electra Heart (rumored to be out in February) is going to be truly timeless pop.

To book tickets for the remaining Little Noise Sessions click here.

To donate to Mencap visit


Lower Clapton Road
E5 0PD
020 8985 5374

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