The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

I Am Not A Robot

On Monday went to see Marina & The Diamonds at The Roundhouse.

[PHIL DANIELS] That is the woman I’m going to marry. [/PHIL DANIELS]

Have been to the Roundhouse before, but not for gigs. I was surprised how pleasant the venue was; no queuing around the block, professional staff, no sticky floors. The sound quality is very good - the interior looks like a giant version of Vince Clarke’s old studio – and the only niggle is that short-arses like me prefer venues with sloping floors because of the better sightlines. Still, a universe away from shitty sub-student’s union venues like the old Astoria, with its ghastly community-centre mural of musicians who looks almost, but not quite entirely, unlike the people they are supposed to be, and its bendy plastic beer containers, and its head-in-a-bucket echo, and the bloody pillars everywhere, and oh, suffice to say, I was cheering when they pulled it down.

The support act, whose name eludes me, had a great singer but hadn’t quite found the tunes. The audience was largely bright young slim boys and girls with stripy black-and-white tops and McFly hair, but thankfully I was not quite the oldest or the fattest bloke there. I’m surprised Marina didn’t have more of a gay contingent, as her music is very much in the same genre as Kate Bush and Sparks, in other words, ‘both melodramatic and disorientingly weird’. I was delighted, though, that the audience was more into dancing and singing along than filming the whole show with their bloody phones.

She came on after a James Bond title sequence, and spent much of the show centre stage, where a wind machine was conveniently placed to blow her hair out of her eyes and make her look like she’s spending the whole show driving a convertible. Oh, I’m being sarky, but only because I’m not comfortable with publically admitting how stunning I thought she looked. I’m a happily married man.

And the songs sounded fantastic. She did her album (reviewed here), the non-album track Rootless, and a new song, Jealousy, which sounded sublime and quite Kate Bush-y. It was kinda odd when she did Shampain, as on her blog she moans about having to sing it, which as an old music biz hanger-on I’d say is probably a mistake as the fans like the illusion to be maintained that the artist is having a good time. But what do I know?

In summary; brilliant singer, brilliant songs, brilliant show, you weren’t there, you missed out.