It’s been over a year since I first heard Marina & The Diamonds’ “Obsessions” on YouTube, and her debut in the U.S. has been one of my most anticipated shows of 2010. So how lucky am I that I got to see her perform TWICE this week! Sunday night at the Bell House in Brooklyn, and again Monday night at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village. Later this week, she descends on Austin, Texas, for the SXSW Festival.
Welsh-born Marina Diamandis is just 24-years-old and I’m in love her. I’m just going to put that out there! Her last name means “diamonds” from her Greek heritage, and she refers to her fans as The Diamonds, or her Jewels. Apparently it’s not her band! And Diamandis herself is so charming, so cute, and so complimentary of the New York crowd (even going as far as to say it’s better than London)! Ok, she was pandering!
At both shows, she kicked off with “Girls,” off her brand new full-length album, The Family Jewels (out in the U.K. now and in the U.S. on May 25). I just love her attitude: “I look like a girl, but I think like a guy.” Amazing. Next, she plays “Seventeen,” which isn’t on her album, but has been floating about the Internet for over a year. And then she kicked in “Oh No!” “The Outsider” and the eponymous, “I Am Not A Robot.” Big, big, big crowd pleaser.
Then she slowed things down, gave her band a break and took to the keyboards herself with the beautiful and haunting ballad, “Numb.” I was so impressed with the noticeably handsome crowd around me — both in Brooklyn and at LPR. No one was talking. It was perfectly quiet. Everyone was fixated on the gorgeous Marina who sang her face off. That’s pretty impressive to command the complete attention of a bar crowd. Next, she sang “Obsessions,” the song that started it all. At this point, I was reminded of how fortunate I am to see talent like Marina (for $12 nonetheless) before she explodes. And she will. I met a Brit named Stephanie at the Brooklyn gig and she said that when Marina returns to the U.K. after SXSW, she will have a nearly sold-out tour waiting for her. Again, impressive!
But I digress. Next up iswas the first single off her debut album, “Hollywood,” which has the most fun (and kitschy) lyrics of the set!! “Hollywood infected my brain… living in a movie scene, puking American dreams… I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America.” And you know what? She does look like Catherine Zeta (but I don’t get Shakira). I loved her Cheshire cat grin when she sang this song to her first American audiences. It’s cool, Marina. We get it. And yes, we are a mess! Thanks for noticing. Then came “Shampain,” an ABBA cover. LOVE it. So fun. And she closed with “Guilty,” and her encore, “Mowgli’s Road.”
I am no futurist, but I really, really hope Marina & The Diamonds makes it big! She’s definitely seems to be the next big thing, alongside Ellie Goulding. Her gorgeous looks, amazing body, killer vocals, delicious hooks and perfectly cute personality sum up the perfect package. I will be up front and CenterOrch every time this girl comes to town. Don’t miss her!