Last Friday saw the launch of Scandalism, a brand new eclectic indie, electro, retro night at the Scala, King Cross, London. A host of bands and DJ’s strutted their stuff including several artists from one of our favourite stables - Neon Gold. This included two acts that we have been following since the back of last year and whom have both recently been announced as appearing on this autumns NME Radar Tour - Yes Giantess and Marina And The Diamonds.
Yes Giantess are dancing before they’ve even played a note. As the DJ vibes it up with some school disco eighties campness, Jan Rosenfeld and his gang are shaking their butts stage side. The head jittering, hip shaking, uninhibited grooving continues as they blast through a set of charged synth jams, drums firing like machine guns. Rosenfeld brings a vocal intonation that hints at Michael Jackson loving it up with MGMT whilst bespectacled keyboardist Karl Hohn fluxes like he has been electrocuted; the most manic and animated improvised dance routine seen in London this year. Yes Giantess may be a keyboard band but live there is a big smack of energy, bodies jerking like frantic turkeys, Karl almost losing his glasses in the rush. With the addition of a member of Passion Pit on drums, the smoothly romantic Tuff N Stuff is dedicated to “Anyone who’s been in love,” Rosenfeld so mesmerised that he almost forgets to play the outro at the end of the song. Yes Giantess continue to straddle the tracks between out and out eighties pop (think Kylie, Erasure) and hip indie dance (Hot Chip, Daft Punk, Passion Pit ) all with a touch of college boy geekiness. Jump on the train and enjoy the ride, every station these fun lovin' scamps stop at is going to be a party.
“I am Marina And The Diamonds,” states Marina emphatically. This is no singer and band combined, let’s be clear about this - Marina is the star here. Fully formed, utterly self assured and a raw talent, Marina And The Diamonds commands the stage with massive presence, even when she drops her tambourine mid song. She prowls the venue with her arms and hair flailing, her voice taking a journey from vulnerable and tender on Obsessions to gloriously Kate Bush styled wild and crazy on Mowgli’s Road. Her songs are somewhat unorthodox, but as she blisters her way through The Shampain Sleeper, a huge Pat Benatar meets Roxette synth piano styled stomp, we see commercial potential too. The song is the perfect example of power tune pop. Marina is exactly what Breaking More Waves wants our stars to be - engaging, a little different, supremely confident and just that little bit sexy. This diamond shines bright.