Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mini review: Marina and the Diaaaah-tishooo!

Dear old Marina is poorly sick. "I'm ill, everyone, i'm ill, pity me, make a fuss, pity me," she writes on Twitter just hours before she took to the stage in London's Bush Hall.

She certainly seems a little under the weather (unless sneezing into microphones and generally looking a bit peaky is all part of her act). But if there is a frog near her throat, he's been given his hopping orders.

From the opening - a larger-than-life Girls, performed in what can only be described as a Pikachu Slanket - Marina is in fine voice, belting out her kooky pop confessionals like a true Welshwoman. With her album out this week, a lot of reviewers have focused on the singer's vocal tics, falling evenly on either side of the genius / irritant divide. But the whoops, animal calls and hollers are all just window dressing. Tonight, the fragility with which she sings "you're vulnerable, so vulnerable" on I Am Not A Robot, proves what an emotive, genuine singer Marina can be.

As the concert draws on, however, the star begins to look precariously wobbly. When she is highlighted with red spotlights during Rootless, it is presumably meant to convey drama and passion, but instead resembles a particularly frightening Vicks vaporub advert.

Then, a medical miracle occurs. The shaggy backing band (dubbed the 'rough diamonds' by one especially unkind acquiantance) kicks into "the one the audience knows", ie Hollywood, and Marina is carried away on a wave of positive energy. The adrenaline boost lasts all the way to the end of the show, when a prowling, predatory Mowgli's Road bursts right through the doors and into the shadowy night.

Properly amazing. Even with the snuffles.

The Outsider
I Am Not A Robot
Oh No!

Mowgli's Road

Photos from Manchester Deaf Institute gig on 21st February, via Astrocreep and Ricky Orr on Flickr.

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