Sunday, 28 February 2010

I Am Not A Robot by Marina & the Diamonds

My son took me to see her at Bush Hall last week. A star.

And here is my 250 word review. You can tell I'm smitten, can't you?

Marina & the Diamonds
Bush Hall, 23 February 2010

It is unlikely that Marina & the Diamonds will play a venue better suited to her particular qualities. The chandeliers of Bush Hall are put to shame by the twinkle of Marina’s frock and the swinging across the octaves of her baroque vocals. At the same time there is a quaint conservatism to the music. The rhythm section is diamond hard, with a young Simon Cowell lookalike beaming on bass (high up in the mix), and a drummer gurning and grinning his way through the 45 minute set. The keyboards swish opulent upon this no-nonsense ground, and Marina does whatever she likes on top of it all. Her vocal lines swoop and play, as her arms describe delightful shapes around her. Marina is, beyond all other things – singer or writer – a performer. In the rather wonderful (and Sparks-like) ‘Oh No’ all her dramatic proclivities are displayed. ‘Numb’, which she sings alone at the keyboard, demonstrates how wholly she can hold an audience. At the end of the song she sneezes twice. The poor girl has a frightful cold. How the hell, then, does she get all those notes out? She’s a trooper, that’s how. Marina & the Diamonds give us the intimacy of cabaret, the good humour of music hall and the thump of rock and roll. Above all she gives us a bona fide star of the future - a Shakira, a Catherine Zeta? Actually, her name’s Marina.

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