“Earlier this year I played my first show in London to like 200 people,” Marie Ulven, aka Girl In Red tells NME before she steps on stage at the packed-out Electric Ballroom in Camden. “Now there’s like 10 times more. That’s pretty crazy, because I sure as hell didn’t think I would sell out.”
Watch our live walk-on video from Girl In Red’s London show above
She means ‘sell out’ purely in terms of tonight’s capacity, actually selling out couldn’t be any further from the 20-year-old’s agenda. Maintaining full independence in writing, recording and producing all of her material, her songs about teenage depression, making sense of sexuality, falling in love and doing what the fuck you want have taken her lo-fi grunge-pop from her bedroom onto big stages. The scores of fans screaming and waving rainbow flags as they brave the cold to queue around the block in Camden on a frosty Tuesday night are totally here for it.
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“People are pleasantly surprised when they come to my show, because it’s a proper rock show,” she tells us. “I’m going to jump on them and make a big moshpit.” She’s not wrong. Fans are already losing their shit when The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’ is played as warm-up music. It’s pure feel-good carnage as Girl In Red tears through the shameless decadence of ‘Bad Idea’ and “bop of the year” ‘Dead Girl In The Pool’. The pit is open, the flags are flying, and it isn’t long until Marie sails over their heads. While a few kids fall down and get carried out, good vibes reign supreme. This is not just a show – it’s a community.
“Some people don’t have a big connection to their fans, some people do,” Girl In Red tells us. “I feel like I have something in the middle where it’s not so much that it overwhelms me, but it’s not too little that people don’t feel like they connect.”