Marina And The Diamonds – Koko, Camden – 13th October 2009

Taking to the stage within the realms of the rather resplendent Koko, Marina Diamandis cavorts her way across the boards adorned in a knee length Dalmatian-dotted fur coat only to be greeted by a mix of applause and the loquacious undertones of an overlooking crowd.

Unabashed by the apparent disregard, ridiculous attire and her teetering demure upon her posture-distorting heels, she twists are turns her way into a 30-minute set with a bout of histrionic dance moves and octave wavering vocals that soon attract the attention of the audience.

Tonight she plays second headline act on the latest of NME’s Radar Tours, and this year’s insert-female-name-here ‘and the’ insert-inanimate-object-here acts to get commercially wound up in. With the unexplainable success of the likes of Florence and the Machine that have gone before her, Marina’s blend of eccentric chanteuse and showbiz glam appear to be a winning combination and carbon copy of similar acts that have garnered adoration for such pop-pragmatism, however, it’s all a bit smoke and mirrors in light of some bastardised indie X Factor.

Playing to the crowd with great humility and grace, Marina sways from quirky new wave pop akin to Regina Spektor (‘I Am Not A Robot’), synth glam (‘The Shampain Sleeper’), and quaint piano-led outpours (‘Obsession’). A cover of Late Of The Pier’s ‘Space In The Woods’ wins the biggest applause of the night as she finishes with her latest single ‘Mowgli’s Road’, that treads the boards of Lene Lovich kook with all the cuckoos and banshee wails of an artist stepping – and often as not, dropping to her knees for dramatic effect – into an easily marketable pigeonhole already stuffed with unappealing feathers.


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