Having just returned from my first ‘Marina and the Diamonds’ gig in my old haunt of Hackney, London. I wish to record my thoughts. I discovered the singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis just over a year ago, what a year it has been!
I love live music. Live music is very special. It is more ‘real’ than listening to recordings and gives the attendee such an uplifting buzz. I have loved Marina and been a fan (a Diamond) for just over six months. I think Marina is amazing because it is rare to have an artist to write such heartfelt songs about her own personal experiences. She is very special to me because I have connected so closely with those songs. It is only by writing in the pure way Marina does that this is possible. Of course everyone is different, so not not everyone will relate to the songs, hopefully there are other artists for such people who fulfill a similar role. Having now seen her live I have realised that she is an even more wonderful, talented and beautiful person than I gathered from listening to her songs/ videos/ interviews. I have such a natural high from the experience. Attending a gig as a fan and then hanging around afterwards in the hope of an extra personal contact with Marina is a really nice experience. Nice, because of the camaraderie with fellow Diamonds, in particular a mother / daughter pair, a guy who came all the way from Qatar and a girl from Liverpool. I like many others had traveled down to London, alone, from various distances. It was great to have the opportunity to socialise with so many people who you instantly have a lot in common with. what was interesting was the diversity in people at the gig; young and old. Marina has touched and improved the lives of so many people and we all came together for a really great party. We are all different and all have problems communicating with other people who think differently to ourselves, so it’s great to find a community of like minded souls.
After the gig, there was a large crowd of people waiting for their chance to connect briefly with Marina, far too many than she could actually have the chance to interact with. So many people wanted to connect with Marina as they have connected with her. I got the sense that everyone wished to be polite and respectful, but it is human nature that a scrum formed around Marina. Marina is so lovely that she wants to connect with the fans, sign things, have pictures taken together etc. Sometimes it’s not possible for such a big crowd to all get their moment, often the less pushy people ended up crying. Really though these people were still pleased to have been relatively close to Marina. I did get the briefest of moments, the venues security, decided that Marina needed to get away, so the interactions ended, however I followed her a little longer as I could see that she was with a couple of the people I had been chatting with, who wanted to deliver a letter to her, so had the chance for her to scribble her signature on a CD inlay card I had brought with me. Incidentally it is the first time I have done such a thing. I did feel guilty as whilst Marina was so positive it must have been a fairly harrowing experience, but Marina smiled at me, which made me so happy.
This last year has been a very positive journey for me. Most of my life I have struggled with anxiety and scared to be myself. Seven years ago, after my mother tragically committed suicide, I went to Madagascar for three months to re-evaluate my life, because I suffered from the very same anxiety and didn’t want to die because of it. Living on a camp in a primary forest, cataloging species. This experience changed me, living in such an amazing environment, with Lemurs waking me up in the morning in my open air hammock with their ‘golden showers’. I learnt what happiness was, to not worry and that I didn’t need to be concerned about who I was or spend so much time worrying about myself. Since then I have had many happy times, but still some anxious unhappy times. I had tried to explain my journey to various people, but no-one seemed to understand this transition I had made, During the bad times it seemed to be just in my own head, that this happiness was not real, that I was deluding myself. Then last year, Marina began releasing material for her new album ‘Froot’. She did an interview where she stated that she had made a progression and realised that bad things about herself, were not a part of her. So, something similar had happened to someone else, I at last had validation outside my own thoughts that I too had progressed to be a better way of being. Then Marina released the song ‘Happy’ which perfectly expressed my transition too. Whilst it may have been depression for Marina, it was anxiety for me, however it is a very similar progression. This is the whole concept of the ‘Froot’ album and I love it and want to support Marina for doing this. The world needs open honest artists, so many people need this external validation by connecting with something outside themselves at whatever stage of development they are at. Sadly there are not enough artists, open enough and unencumbered by the art itself or genre conventions to do it. This is why it is important to have artists prepared to express themselves. Marina’s new album ‘Froot’ is released on 16.3.15.
So, Marina, if you ever read this. It is long and it is what i wanted to say to you after the gig, but I quickly realised that I wouldn’t have the opportunity and that it’s rather long for such a frenzied time. I wish to thank you: Firstly for favouriting my tweet about similar progression do happen to others people, that meant so much to me. Secondly, for being a great singer, songwriter, performer, artist and such a wonderful person. I am also so pleased that someone who grew up, like me, in rural Wales has found success, being themselves and doing such good things in the world. Really Marina has been the inspiration behind this whole blog and my new found freedom from fear of expressing myself.