Review: Marina and the Diamonds, Queen’s Hall

Barely two albums into her career, Marina Diamindis is already reinventing herself.

Two years ago, the Welsh-Greek was an American college-jacket-wearing cheerleader whose New Wave tunes assured her debut album (The Family Jewels) reached number five in the album charts.

Now, the 26-year-old portrays herself as an audacious prom queen (Electra Heart) whose trashy – yet unashamedly commercial-sounding – pop pretensions are the equivalent of being spun about in a sideshow waltzer, a half bottle of Vodka swirling around your belly, the sound of cheesy-cheap club music panning in your ears.

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Even attempts at creating a lavish stage-set looked decidedly low-budget: tacky neon, 80s-disco lighting, a chaise lounge for Diamindis to flash her pink knickers and a toy, poodle dog to prove she’s “just a girl” after all.

But it doesn’t wash.

Aimed squarely at the camp and girls in their late teens, the tunes don’t fare much better.

No clear “hit” song stands out amongst the rest of the disco-splatter, and it’s hard to determine what her material is and which tracks have been conjured up by recently- recruited big-time producers.

On Primadonna – one of her few recognisable tracks – she stopped the band in their tracks, and, completely oblivious to the irony, made them restart because her sound engineer hadn’t lined up the guide in her ear-piece correctly: “otherwise it’ll just sound s***.”

This moment aside, Diamindis, is a likeable lass. Chirpy, confident, and certainly not shy in revealing her curvaceous figure – a welcome antidote to the unhealthy-skinny figurines that pass for pop-star acceptance – you can’t help wonder if she’s extracting the urine with her current guise, or working her ticket to something more substantial in the future.

Nevertheless, she gives her fans (the Diamonds) what they want, and they receive it in abundance.

Bubble-gum Bitch was, like the title suggests, bubble-gum for the ears. And during a brief step to the piano to perform Teen Idle; emphasised the character of her bitter-but-beautiful prom queen façade by suggesting girls would be better off being a bitch than a brain.

At the end of the day, though, girls just wanna have fun – right?

Rating: **