Marina and the Diamonds

Marina and the Diamonds – O2 Academy, Bournemouth (21st November 2015) – LIVE REVIEW

This Marina and the Diamonds article was written by Max Clemens, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.

The number of artists who can gracefully introduce themselves on stage with hundreds of screams to the chant of a ‘Cuckoo’ could probably be counted on one hand; and then narrowed down to one finger. But as Marina Diamandis showed us, the relationship between her and self-proclaimed ‘Diamonds’ is on another level.

Supporting her latest album ‘FROOT’, Marina and the Diamonds is currently on her European Leg of her first fully-fledged world tour. ‘FROOT’’s tales of personal self-reflection, written solely by Marina and produced in it’s entirety by David Kosten, is as real as Marina’s discography has ever got – leaving behind her pop persona from 2012’s ‘Electra Heart.’

Marina hasn’t forgotten her past however, with the shows on her ‘Neon Nature’ tour being split into three separate acts for each of her albums: ‘The Family Jewels’, ‘Electra Heart’ and ‘FROOT’. Marina’s on stage performance was supported heavily by the use of LED-screens, featuring artwork relevant to each act she was performing and costume changes to suit also. Featuring five songs from her first two albums and eight of her newest tracks, Marina announced they were “cherry-picked as my favourite from each era”.

As a result of the act format, the show had a very distinct flow to it, rather than songs from various albums slotted in accordingly. 2010 breakthrough hit ‘I’m Not a Robot’ reared its head early on as the second song she performed. Though this only brought out the sing-along feeling in the crowd straight away, as the chanting atmosphere remained absolute throughout lesser known songs ‘Oh No!’ and ‘Obsessions,’ before returning to safe territory with her hit ‘Hollywood’ marking the end of the first act.

While disappearing off stage for a costume change, the LED screens marked the transition from ‘The Family Jewels’ to ‘Electra Heart’ with unreleased title track ‘Electra Heart’ playing to the crowd, despite not being performed live upon Marina’s return. Bouncing back on the stage with ‘Bubblegum Bitch’, the crowd once again were involved in full force, with an excellent set-list displaying the energy, which itself was kept consistent with up-tempo dance hits dispersed between more of Marina’s slower, indie efforts. ‘Electra Heart’s’ lead single ‘Radioactive’ had been omitted from the set-list however, in favour of US-exclusive track ‘How to Be a Heartbreaker’, once again though the crowd fluttered through every word reiterating the strong ties ‘Diamonds’ have with Marina.

Closing the ‘Electra Heart’ act with slower paced yet strongly performed ‘Lies,’ where Marina vocally displayed that she could easily be welcomed into the Opera world as of tomorrow, 80s-disco infused track ‘FROOT’ began the third and final act of the evening. The fun, vibrant feeling of her third era was brought to life on stage, with a performance of ‘FROOT’ as identically perfect to that on the album. Marina story-told her way through her latest work as she sung, span and danced her way across the stage in front of Times-Square-Sized LED screens, showing emoji’s of various fruit, letting us know that tonight was all about having a good time.

Moving on to self-confessed “political-ballad” ‘Savages’, and despite the heavier subject material, the lyrics “We live, we die. We steal, we kill, we lie” echoed all around the venue. Similarly, to the sardonic line “Do you really want me to write a feminist anthem? I’m happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for my husband”, from next track ‘Can’t Pin Me Down’. Two tracks where Marina explores subject material in a different light from her past two efforts, showing another example of how she thrived expressing herself in her own words, rather than with the 14+ co-writers of her past album.

Finishing the concert with the rest of the singles released from the album, Marina ended with a 1-2… 3-4-5 punch, only toning it down for a sole piano rendition of ‘FROOT’s’ opening track and fan favourite ‘Happy’. Encouraging everyone to sing along, Marina displayed that she was having just as much fun as the crowd as she took us through a concert set-list which represented her journey through her career, and as an artist.