Great Escape Round-Up – New Band Round-Up Day Three – Marina And The Diamonds, Rogues, Koko Von Napoo

So by now hopefully you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that these days the only real alternative pop stars that emerge are of one member, and of one gender. That’s just how it goes. No idea why, and no point fighting it.

With that in mind though, lets hurry on with rampant hysterical celebration of just what an extraordinary and exceptional talent Marina Diamond is. From the moment she trots onto the foot high staging at the back of the Old Steine’s makeshift burlesque big-top an irritating 40 minutes tardy, she’s bolshy, brash, petulant, posh, and at points a little jarring, which is why it’s all the more astonishing an experience falling head-over-heels for absolutely every single vibration she emits.

There’s something instantly and arrestingly fabulous about her smoky-skinned buxom Carry On kook. At times amidst a low-rent sound rig and smalltime staging she comes off a little over-cooked. No matter how young, likable and fit you are, talking about front bottom wedgies within the first two songs of an intimate set, can’t help but induce at least a demi-wince. But at this seedling stage it’s a simple matter of overcompensation, experience + adoration + time = natural confidence.


Compared to certain mechanical fake flame heads with a frois gras duck-style throat-syphoning pump of wackiness though, Marina floats on a invisible slipstream of effortless, intrinsic charm. Plus, tunes like opener ‘Girls’ and closer ‘Mowgli’s Road’ promise that her Kate Bush-at-her-most-unhinged-smashes-plates-with-the-lusty-waitress-at-the-messy-Greek-cafe-down-the-road, will, by the end of the year, be absolutely everywhere. Huzzah.

Baggsy the one on the right

What with 90% of all new Brit indie rookies looking like a shoddily transplanted swine-skin face mask. Yes, the face of a pig, clumsily hacked from its skull, and stuck on a humans face, namely that of a young shmindie fop, from Kent, maybe not even sewn or glued on, just slapped on there.

Anyway, what with that, you really want Rogues to have loads of amazing choons and become this behemoth UK alt.boyband machine, like Rapture-meets-McFly, but they don’t, they have one, and maybe a half, somewhere. C’mon lads. If you can manage to moddle together one (‘Not So Pretty’), how hard can it to squeeze out like, hmm, how many amounts to a good album these days? Four? So like three more? You could be a UK Virgins that actually sell more than 12 records. Tick tock…

One more band – 12.30am…


Who we got left?

Koko Von Napoo

Remember when you saw this and wished the music was as good as the video.

Well, by the looks of the basement jams going down at WAGgy joint the Water Margin (bear in mind we’re talking Brighton & Hove Albion WAGgy, not premiership), then wish no further. Kind of…

Made Sweatshop-Free in Downtown Paris

Hot french girls doing Champs Elysees branch Topshop lektropopunk.

The Teenagers were obvs in the front row. Looking, well, unsigned.

Cohort Joe Metronomy looked on warmly. Hang on, this is turning into Indie Heat. Let’s call it a night. SHALL WE?