Seeing Marina and The Diamonds down at the Audio was a nice way to break up our mini-holiday in Brighton earlier this week. She's another one of this year's top tips that i missed out on at the festivals last year and its a shame my first live experience of her had to come so close to her album release and subsequent break into the mainstream. But nevertheless, i'm fairly pleased that her debut, 'The Family Jewels' is out in the very near future, and although the majority of my enthusiasm has taken a hit after its peak around last summer, the tracks from the album for me are acting as a polite, but firm reminder that Marina Diamandis' music is not going to 'do a La Roux' and become the bane of everyone's listening this summer. In my opinion, if we're going to persevere in looking to last year for our superficial comparisons, then we should look no further than Florence and The Machine. Marina may not have such a euphoric songwriting style, or such an intensely individual voice, or quite as much of a cult following as Florence had last September, but she definitely fits in the same kind of 'acoustica turned Radio 1 popstar' category that Florence made and outgrew in the lead up to 'Lungs'.
Marina's songs are in fact, far simpler than Florence's ever were; instead of the harps, guitars and organic sounds of Welch's floral, and somewhat excessive live band - Marina sticks to a timeless set up (excuse the synths of Starsmith) of bass, guitar, drums as well as vocals and keys which she divides her attention between throughout. Spending the latter part of her Audio set behind the keyboard, she emerged dressed in a flamboyant yellow top/bear outfit for which the reasoning behind i accept, despite being totally unsure of. She rattled through her album full of songs with the utmost of confidence to an aged and intent Audio selection, and i can't help but think that once her album is out and she's played the festivals this year, she doesn't realise quite how much younger her new found Radio 1 audience is going to get.
I always say in music its better to play simple things well than to play complicated things badly, and that's what Marina did - she played simple songs perfectly. I'd even go as far as to say she sounded far better live than she did on her demos, even if some of that studio production was lost. The bare-bones of many of her new songs, rather than detracting from the substance of the set, left room for her voice to shine through. We've really got a talent on our hands with Marina & The Diamonds, and in my opinion, its definitely a talent for the quieter side of pop music.