Maribou State – O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK, 7th March 2019

Photos provided by Sam Neill.

Maribou State are certainly riding a wave. After selling out the Roundhouse last November, the duo were back in London to a sold out Brixton Academy. With a bigger venue and sound system, eager fans were keen to get the show started and see what was in store.

Coming out to a slow open with ‘Home’, an expectant hush fell over the crowd as the it’s playful synths eased everyone into the set. Picking up the pace the band then launched into ‘Feel Good’, with its chugging bass and downtempo melody. If you’re going to see a Maribou State gig, their longtime featured singer Holly Walker will not be found far behind. Starring in many of the group’s biggest tracks, she led into ‘Steal’, which soon had the crowd singing along.

Keen to demonstrate an enhanced visual experience for the show. A heavy use of lighting and screens was used during ‘Glass Houses’ to take the crowd on relaxed cruise through some Caribbean mangroves. It wasn’t just the visuals which have been built on. An expanded string section and backing singer accompaniment helped give a fuller sound. Ideal for as the soaring strings and but melancholic background vocals of the track gave a varied depth that was easy to get lost in.

After crossing the halfway mark it was time to get heavy and dark. Beginning with ‘Rituals’ it was time to get the bass booming and the audience moving. The crowd mostly static crowd till now, was now ready to start to get moving. Some fans got it more than others two girls perhaps lost from the last Enter Shikari gig were taking no prisoners, carving out a two-person mosh pit that others were a little more apprehensive of joining. Not a usual sight at a gig. All the while the Maribou State headed into the crescendo with ‘ The Clown’.

As the show wound down, it seems Maribou State are really working out the show they want to deliver. With a melancholic tone but high energy vibe, the two characteristics seem at odds but come together to give a great show. No doubt helped by a great featured vocalist in Holly Walker. Their shows are a one to watch out for.