Review: Marina’s Love and Fear show at Manchester Apollo

Posted on 17 May 2019
By Tom Massam
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The last time Welsh songstress Marina toured in 2016, she was known as ‘Marina and the Diamonds’.

However, after a musical hiatus, she has dropped the ‘and the Diamonds’ part of her stage name and has returned with her fourth album which, like this new tour, is of a two-part structure entitled ‘Love + Fear.’

Marina emerges onto the Apollo’s stage in a whimsical orange dress, commencing the ‘Love’ section of the show with ‘Handmade Heaven’ against a video backdrop of stars.

The song’s poetic lyrics “I envy the birds, high up in the trees/They live out their lives, so purposefully” engage her audience instantly and prepare them for a journey to a somewhat alternate musical universe.

The remainder of the ‘Love’ section is just as vibrant and enriching, including 2014’s synthpop-infused anthem ‘Froot’, the exotic ‘Orange Trees’ which sounds like the perfect summer song, and the uplifting ‘Enjoy Your Life’, which reminds us of how important a concert like this can be with its euphoric lyrics, “Sit back and enjoy your problems, oh you don’t always have to solve them.”

‘To Be Human’, along with its accompanying video backdrop, namechecks several countries and the unity between them, despite their political differences.

Later, when Marina returns to the stage in a scarlet-red catsuit, a darker and more mysterious vibe ensues for the ‘Fear’ section of the concert.

Marina’s back-up dancers mirror her rawness and vulnerability, as she laments over her need to ‘Believe in Love’ and her desire to be ‘Immortal’.

The overall theatricality and visual effects of the concert remain intact throughout and do not conceal Marina’s ability to perform.

One slight downside is when Marina performs some songs with audio back-up vocals, which she does not need to do, especially when she showcases her ability to create pure melodies while playing the piano during other songs like ‘Soft to be Strong’.

Nevertheless, Marina keeps her fans in the palm of her hand all the way until her encore, which includes the first ever live performance of her 2018 collaboration with Clean Bandit and Luis Fonsi, ‘Baby’.

By then, the entire audience is on their feet, jumping and singing along with Marina like they do not want this night to end.

Purple Revolver rating: 4/5 stars