Marina and the Diamonds
Cardiff Coal Exchange
added: 27 Jun 2012
// gig date: 30 Jun 2012
reviewer: Mike Lewis
As far as performers go, Marina and the Diamonds is one-of-a-kind, a combined whirlwind of energy, emotion and dynamism that truly defines the live experience. Marina who is from Abergavenny is now back in Cardiff, which is considered a hometown show for the singer who has brought her family along to watch her performance at the sold out Cardiff Coal Exchange.
Last time Marina performed in Cardiff it was in support of the release of Family Jewels, an album that put her in the spotlight and made her shine out too many successful musicians, also winning her a dedicated fan base. Having toured the album for two years without debuting new material, Marina has returned to Cardiff in order to show off the successful release of second album ‘Electra Heart’, an album that managed to bag her a number one album and a top 10 single.
Supporting Marina on this tour is Meredith Sheldon who has the important job of rearing the crowd. Maredith has plenty to live up too, as former tour supports Yadi and Spark both received critical success after supporting Marina. Unfortunately, throughout her set there was a lack of chemistry with the audience and notably a great deal of the audience positioned themselves at the venues bar instead.
As the lights turn down, the anticipation is over as the half Welsh, half Greek popstar arrives onstage in a white dress and Veil, bursting straight into the powerful ‘Homewrecker’ Marina got the crowd enthused and bouncing instantly for a set that was certainly going to be packed with energy and passion. Ditching the veil, Marina turned to a pair of sunglasses for the fun and fan favourite ‘Oh No’ that done a perfect job in creating the first memorable sing-along of the evening.
The visuals throughout Marina’s performance played a central part of engaging the audience further into the performance and show. A shrill pink electric heart, a 70’s style TV and a sheer nightgown combined with Marina’s emotional and artistic appearance on the stage reflected the idea of the album – a parody of the painfully familiar American dream of fame, beauty and money.
As Marina is faced with the difficultly of battling the heat of the coal exchange, each song is perfomed perfectly with enticing charm and frequent playful smiles towards the audience during crowd pleasers such as ‘I Am Not A Robot’. The set ticks along nicely, gradually building in tempo to thumping highlight Primadona Girl before closing in a club-like feel with the euphoric Radioactive.
After leaving the stage briefly, Marina returns to deafening screams for an encore on the Piano of the hair standing ‘Obsessions’ which is always a song that provides great impact live before concluding with ‘Hollywood’, ending the night on an unforgettable high.
Despite the intense heat, Marina successfully got the audience engaged and in the palm of her hands from the moment she took the stage. This wasn’t just a show, Marina brought her character ‘Electra Heart’ to life and made the show feel more like a story which the sold out Coal Exchange loved!
For more images visit - www.flickr.com/mlewisphotography
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