WELSH singer- songwriter Marina Lambrini Diamandis- better known by her stage name, Marina and the Diamonds, graced Manchester Academy on February 18. I was there to review the evening…
Moving to London as a teenager to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a singer, Marina and the Diamonds’ debut album back in 2010 was filled with somewhat new-wave pop, intertwining with subtle hints of indie melodies. The second single, ‘Hollywood’ off the debut album managed to peak at number 12 in the UK Singles Chart.
Now on her third album, ‘Froot’, released back in 2014, the “indie artist with pop goals,” as Marina describes herself, has embarked on numerous tours and has become well known for her unique fashion and style choices.
Opening the night was British singer-songwriter, Shura. Originally from Manchester, the elcro-synth artist certainly adds a new angle to upcoming music, offering a sound of new wave music. A well-chosen support act for the evening, Shura’s experimental music matches the similar experimental type of Marina and the Diamonds. Moving through the set, the audience generally became more captivated in Shura’s performance as they had been initially at the start of the performance. Overall, a well executed which displayed Shura’s capability and talent of creating a new wave of electro synth music.
Marina and the Diamonds then took to the stage shortly after, opening with a selection of songs off her debut album. The singer then explained how the performance was devised into three sections, with each section representing each of her albums. The weirdly wonderful pop princess didn’t take long to display a stunning vocal performance, teamed with her skin-tight shiny red playsuit and sparkly purple ears.
“Act 1” consisted of the track, ‘Obsessions’, in which Marina explained was special to her as ‘it helped her to become a signed artist’. This intimate song was performed alongside Marina playing the keyboard. Popular hit, ‘Hollywood’ also featured in this part of the set, getting the crowd jumping around to the 2009 hit.
After a quick costume change into a pink lycra cheerleader’s outfit, Marina returned with sparkly pink pom poms in hand ready to perform a selection of songs off her second album, ‘Electra Heart’. The three different acts was a great way to structure the set, as it really exposed how Marina has grown as an artist through her career up to now. This was arguably the best “Act” out of the three. It was the most upbeat, featuring ‘Bubblegum B*tch’ and popular hit; ‘Primadonna’, yet still tugged on the heartstrings during ‘Teen Idle’.
This was without a doubt the most fun part during the set. It seemed to symbolise that this album was where Marina found her style and started to refine her style even more. This then became a lot more evident in “Act 3” of the set.
“Act 3” of the set had Marina returning in another skin-tight ensemble, this time a sparkly blue one teamed with a sparkly cherry headband. This part of the set exposed Marina’s newly refined style; somewhat a lot more mellow in comparison the previous two album/ “Acts”. Although this was a calmer set, this captivated the audience whilst Marina delivered a truly captivating performance with her stunning vocals. This set also included a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s hit, ‘True Colours,’ stunning the audience to silence whilst fixated on the performance.
Although a beautifully delivered set and the creative structure of the progression of Marina and the Diamonds’ journey, the whole set would have been better if it ended with a song off the second album.
Never the less, Marina and the Diamonds didn’t fail to disappoint- putting on a brilliant show teamed with excellent talent and ‘quirkiness’ through out.