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#215 Marina and the Diamonds @ Dublin Olympia Theatre (November 20th 2012)

Support: Gavin James

Ok I admit I wasn’t in the mood for this one. Nothing against Ms Marina Lambrini Diamandis but I was not in the best form as I had misplaced an important part of my gig going kit…my converse. My beautiful, comfortable converse which have been my concert footwear of choice for years. Admittedly they smell a little bit at this stage but hey they look good. In their place all I had to wear was a pair of slippery, highly uncomfortable, suit shoes. Not a brilliant look when combined with my best concert going jeans and more importantly they fecking hurt.

Marina And The Diamonds - Dublin Olympia Theatre November 20th 2012

Trying not to be too downhearted we stood towards the back on the ground floor. Yes I normally would have liked to have gotten closer but a quick scan of the crowd assured me that I would have seriously been out of place in the moshing area. A 6 foot 1”, bald headed, slightly overweight (just slightly) 38 year old would have annoyed the fuck out of the largely female audience…most of whom were definitely not 6 foot 1”. What they lacked in height they made up for in noise as there was a good buzz in the Olympia (to be fair there usually is). Marina seems to have a passionate following in Ireland and there really was a terrific atmosphere with Marina in top form. As it turned out it was a special night for her as her mother was celebrating her birthday by being in one of the boxes watching her daughter grasp an audience in the palm of her hand…she must be proud (not sure my Mum has much to be proud of.  I did once come 34th in the cross country. Admittedly there were only 36 in it and of the two I beat one had asthma and one was the ‘fat kid’). 

Another reason for staying towards the back tonight was because there was no way I was going to show myself up in the dancing / moshing / singing along stakes. In truth I’m not entirely sure how you do it at pop gigs. Most of the gigs I go to are rock / metal / indie so you can’t go too far wrong by raising your hands, nodding your head whilst mumbling along to the choruses (next week I’m at the Madness gig which will entail jumping up and down…a lot). Marina’s fans were in top form and I did feel a little pang of jealously as I saw the mosh area really going for it. Next time I’ll have a few shots and get myself down there.

So what of Marina? Well despite my bad mood I thought she was quite poptasticly brilliant. Pop isn’t normally my thing but she is something a little different from the normal, run of the mill, sing cover versions or songs written for you, chart singer. She writes much of her own stuff, she can play piano and she has a voice with a range so wide there were times I wasn’t sure if it was the same woman on stage. Also now that she has two albums she has a larger selection of songs to choose from. Back in 2010 although she was very good she suffered slightly from that one album artist syndrome (were artists have to play everything from the album…even songs that wouldn’t be suited for the live stage). Now she has an arsenal of great live tunes. Not bad considering she is only two albums in to what I’m sure will be a very long career.

Highlights were many from the 18 songs set list. Yes, I Am Not A Robot is an obvious favourite but she played a run of songs including ObsessionsPrimadonnaShampain, and Hollywood which were quite superb. The two song encore was made up of Marina on her own at the keyboard singing Teen Idle before finishing with the full band for How to Be a Heartbreaker (a song written too late to be included on her second album…hmmm not sure I believe that. Good marketing though and a terrific pop single – released next month).

Throughout the gig Marina showed off her growing stage presence which is helped by the excellent rapport she has with her fans. Fans who seem to absolutely adore her. Not surprising then that the whole place (yes including me) willingly joined in to sing Happy Birthday to her Mum who sat grinning in the box proudly looking on.

P.S. The support tonight was from Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James. We only caught a couple of his songs but he sounded pretty good to me in an Ed Sheerhan kinda way (and not just because he to is a ginger haired guitarist...well ok maybe because of that).

Ticket: November 20th 2012

Ticket Price: €27.90

Set Lists: