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LIVE REVIEW: Marina and the Diamonds - The Forum

Solid and absorbing performance...

By Luke Tadgell on Tuesday 16th October 2012 Photo by

Being able to call on someone as talented as Foxes to fulfil a supporting role on your UK tour is surely a great pleasure.

It does, though, highlight the problem an artist like Marina and the Diamonds faces in this pop climate: among all the talented young female artists vying for air time, Marina must go about things differently in order to justify her hitherto pop prominence. Hence, Electra Heart.

Her onstage alter ego that is. Moving away from the sound of her first album, The Family Jewels, the Welsh singer has since gone all conceptual. On the album and in the videos, Ms Heart has been a cheerleader/man-eater kind of creature, and she’s now been brought out onto the stage.

The décor is consistent with her American archetype; a pink neon heart blinks behind a handy coat rack and antiquated telly. She’s aimed for a motel-chic vibe, and her dramatic entrance is in keeping with the sense of corroded glamour.

After warming everyone up she’s ready and bouncing to her “favourite song to perform from the album”, ‘Bubblegum Bitch’. One of the most energetic moments of the night, it also invites a number of questions regarding Electra Heart. The Barbie aspect of her act accounts for the number of young girls in attendance, but the gig is also one of promiscuity and sexy costume changes.

The night became most surreal when she introduced her ‘pet’ dog (a wind-up toy), said to have been found on the street, a crack pipe hanging from her mouth. But even if it wasn't clear couldn’t to extent we should feel awkward just being there in attendance, it was pretty absorbing.

Her band is solid, Marina took to the keyboard when she felt the mood called for a ballad to change things up, and her vocal range is undeniable.

The loudest cheers and sing-alongs were of course reserved for her biggest singles, ‘I Am Not a Robot’ and ‘Primadonna’. Via both you can understand the supposed influences of Kate Bush and Britney Spears respectively. Compiled for a night’s listening, her songs mix together strangely, and while she thoroughly entertained everyone in Kentish Town, it’s a mystery who she’ll choose as her next pop prototype.

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