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Live Review: Marina and the Diamonds at the 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – Monday 6th September 2010

By on Friday, 10th September 2010 at 11:00 am

This past Monday, the DC branch of TGTF put on their finery and headed into DC to see Marina and the Diamonds play at the well-loved 9:30 Club. The local hotspot has seen thousands of amazing shows over the years and has played host to some of the greats (the Police, the Ramones, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers… even Bob Dylan has played there).  And Marina Diamandis, I believe, is poised to join their ranks. Already enjoying success in the UK, she is just starting to break through in the US, and as she told me in our Q&A,  “I’ve been here quite a few times now. I have never done anything more exciting than this trip though. You all feel so right! My future is here.” And even though the show didn’t sell out, judging by the crowd’s reaction, I think she’s right!

First up was opener Young the Giant from Orange County, California, who we introduced you to a couple of weeks back. I had high hopes for them because I’d loved what I heard online, and they were every bit as amazing as I expected. Their 8-song set (see the partial setlist below) was packed with energy,  with the band members literally bouncing off of each other and the instruments. Amazingly, the only casualty was the beer of one of the guitarists. Playing tambourines and maracas and dancing and strutting to the music, lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia had fantastic stage presence. Despite the fact that their debut album wont even be released until October, they had a good number of fans in the crowd, and they seemed to quickly convert the rest of the audience to being fans. Heck, even the gut who shouted “MARINA!!!” every 5 seconds eventually shut up. My favorite songs they played were ‘I Got,’ ‘Cough Syrup’ and ‘My Body,’ and these were also the songs that went over the best with the crowd. ‘I Got’ is a slower song in 6/8 time with a gorgeous melody and great vocal harmony, and their single ‘My Body’ is a high energy stomper that can really whip the crowd into a frenzy. They’re well worth seeing if they ever play near you.

But as good as they were, the night was really about Marina. She took the stage in a variety of outfits, from lingerie and a cut-up t-shirt to a letterman jacket to a full-length, long-sleeved velvet dress that caused her to exclaim in her Welsh accent, “I tell you what, this black velvet is a bitch. It’s so hot I actually want to peel my face off.” And while her stunning looks and her strutting around the stage would make anyone fall in love with her, it was her voice that really stole the show.  It is incredibly powerful and versatile and she doesn’t hold back with it at all — it sounds just as good live as it does on her record, ‘The Family Jewels,’ if not better.

As Marina mentioned in our interview, the crowd favorites were ‘Obsessions,’ ‘I Am Not a Robot’ and ‘Hollywood’ — they really had the crowd singing along, which made her face light up. She told me “American audiences are a lot more loving and expressive. They make me feel uninhibited” But some of the most special moments of the night were also the simplest and most understated. She sat down at the keyboard to play ‘Obsessions’  and the room went silent. ‘Starstrukk’ was another highlight for me. The way she can take a  mildly offensive pop song by an act as heinous as 3Oh!3 and turn it into something unsettling and thought-provoking is mind-boggling.

When she wasn’t awing the crowd with her voice, she was jumping around the stage, doing dances and playing with props — her enthusiasm was infectious. While her more serious songs like ‘Numb’ are musically enthralling, it’s hard not to have fun when Marina is gesturing with stuffed hamburgers, light-up hearts and robots. A Marina and the Diamonds show is truly a treat for the senses, and is NOT something to be missed.

Set lists and photos are under the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: Marina and the Diamonds at the 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – Monday 6th September 2010


Video of the Moment #343: Marina and the Diamonds

By on Thursday, 9th September 2010 at 6:00 pm

Welsh songstress Marina and the Diamonds has just released the video for her latest single ‘Shampain.’ While the song sounds upbeat, its lyrics are about getting drunk to forget about your problems, and the video is every bit as dark as it should be. The cinematography is gorgeous and just the right amount of creepy, and there is something very ‘Thriller’-esque about her back-up dancers. And I suppose it doesn’t hurt that Marina looks as stunning as always. All in all, it’s a great video, so check it out below and let us know what you think!



Interview: Marina and the Diamonds

By on Wednesday, 8th September 2010 at 2:00 pm

The lovely Marina Diamandis (aka Marina and the Diamonds) was nice enough to take some time during her US tour to answer some of our questions. Read on to hear her thoughts on the tour, how she decided to  cover ‘Starstrukk’ and her feelings on collaborations. Also, be sure to keep an eye on TGTF for my review of her show on Monday night in Washington, DC.

You played Reading and Leeds last weekend – congratulations! How was that experience?

Good and bad. The audience was incredible on both shows and both tents were rammed to over capacity by thousands at Reading. This resulted in people getting crushed though and having panic attacks so it had a bit of a negative edge. Leeds was my fave.

You’re in the middle of your 12-date American tour right now. How does it feel to be doing shows over here? Have you visited the US before?

Yes I’ve been here quite a few times now. I have never done anything more exciting than this trip though. You all feel so right! My future is here.

Have you noticed a big difference between American audiences and British ones? Which songs are going over the best?

Fave songs are “Obsessions,” “Robot” and “Hollywood.” American audiences are a lot more loving and expressive. They make me feel uninhibited.

After your US tour, you’re hitting the UK, Europe and Australia as well, and you’re pretty booked-up through the end of the year. Do you have plans for a well-earned holiday after that? What’s next for Marina?

No, I had a holiday in August when the whole music industry goes to sleep. I don’t really like relaxing. I can’t! The video for “Shampain” was just released and as soon as this year ends, I go to Australia and then onto my next works.

Continue reading Interview: Marina and the Diamonds


Mercury Prize 2010: TGTF Writer’s Choice

By on Monday, 6th September 2010 at 12:00 pm

Tomorrow night we will finally find out which album will be crowned the winner of the 2010 Mercury Prize. I’ve asked each of our writers to choose which album they think should win the gong this year, as well as which album they think was criminally absent from the 2010 shortlist. Hopefully you have watched the scene in the film ‘On the Waterfront’ where Marlon Brando says those iconic lines, “I coulda been a contendah! I coulda been somebody!” If not, watch this and you’ll get my meaning:


Like all good music reviewers, we’re an opinionated bunch here at TGTF. Continue beyond the cut for our picks…

Continue reading Mercury Prize 2010: TGTF Writer’s Choice


Video(s) of the Moment #334: Young the Giant

By on Friday, 27th August 2010 at 10:00 am

Californian indie rock band Young the Giant was recently announced as the support act for Marina and the Diamonds on her American tour next month. (You can look forward to a TGTF review of the Washington, DC, show — there’s no way we’d miss it!) Young the Giant’s debut album wont be available for download until late October (U.S. only), and physical copies wont be available until early next year, but if the two songs from the album they’ve released live videos of are anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait. Vocalist Sameer Gadhia’s voice is both powerful and soothing, and the music is catchy and straight from the heart – a great combination.

‘My Body’ appears to be the first single from their upcoming debut, and it can be downloaded for free on their official Web site when you either join their mailing list or share the download link on Facebook or Twitter. Below, you can watch the fantastic track performed live in studio at Sunset Lounge in Hollywood, followed by the soft-focused video for ‘I Got’ filmed by Alexander Shahmiri in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.




Video of the Moment #297: Marina and the Diamonds

By on Tuesday, 13th July 2010 at 6:00 pm

Check out the new colourful video for Marina and the Diamonds‘ ‘Oh No!’ below. Personally, she’s a little much for me most of the time, but this one is as punchy as her pink boxing gloves at the start of the promo vid.


The single for Marina and the Diamonds’ ‘Oh No!’ will be released 2 August on 679. A special vinyl / mp3 / t-shirt bundle can be purchased from her official Web site. Catch her on tour this October and November.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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