This Marina and the Diamonds article was written by Sam Jourdan, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson. Header photo by Matgdr.
Having a fandom isn’t something you often see in pop music. Other genres have their fair share of ultra-devoted fans: followers who travel to every gig, constantly sport their idol’s merchandise and spread the word of their work with a religious determination. One minute in the Roundhouse last Sunday was enough to see that Marina Diamindis has accumulated and nurtured a healthy fanbase: the venue was packed with supporters rocking Marina’s signature cheek heart, decked out in glitter jumpsuits and other glam outfits.
The concert was the last of the UK leg of Marina’s ‘Neon Nature’ tour, supporing her latest record, ‘FROOT’. The Roundhouse was as charming as ever, a venue which always manages to seem intimate despite its size. Support act Shura took the stage to a fairly packed venue, and kicked straight into their set. Shura can generally be slotted into the synthwave/electropop side of music, with R&B style vocals. Synthpop is a genre which is quite difficult to bring to a live setting, but Shura successfully managed to translate her sound to the Roundhouse by bringing a full live band with her.
Marina took the stage after a short break and immediately enraptured the audience. Before discussing the music itself, it’s crucial to talk about the stage show, which was a work of art unto itself. Marina’s stage was split into two platforms, the lower stage accommodated the singer, the upper the band. The front face of the band’s platform had a huge rectangular screen seeing a variety of animations projected relating to the song at hand. Above all of the action was a stellar and minimalistic lightshow. It was an incredibly creative and stunning feat of engineering, and added a great deal to the performance.
The performance itself was staggering. Marina split her show into three parts, with each segment representing one of her three albums. The first section, devoted to Marina’s debut ‘The Family Jewels‘. The band kicked off with ‘Mowgli’s Road’, before slowing things down with ‘I Am Not A Robot’. ‘Oh No!’ and ‘Obsessions’ followed before an incredible rendition of the cuttingly satirical ‘Hollywood’. Marina left the stage while the band transitioned into album two: ‘Electra Heart‘, before the singer burst back into frame glammed up in a completely different outfit and performed ‘Bubblegum Bitch’.
The tracks from ‘Electra Heart‘ are more upbeat and steeped in electronica than those from ‘The Family Jewels‘, and they translated well to the live environment. After performing ‘Teen Idle’ and ‘How To Be A Heartbraker’, Marina took a few minutes out of her show to banter with the audience, before launching into her big hit: ‘Primadonna’, which saw an enamoured crowd singing along with every lyric.
Another transition and costume change later, and Marina and band kicked off the ‘FROOT‘ segment of the show. ‘FROOT ‘as an album has a sound which finds itself somewhere in-between ‘The Family Jewels‘ and ‘Electra Heart‘, and although the audience was generally less familiar with the material, they still engaged with the show in a big way. After a Cyndi Lauper cover of ‘True Colours’ and a brief encore, the night was over. After performing final song ‘Blue’, Marina spent a good while giving a passionate speech expressing her gratitude to her fans, before finishing by announcing “I am Marina, and YOU are the diamonds” which warranted the biggest roar of the crowd that night.