Marina – the Burger Queen tour

     Ah, ideas. How I love thee. How I love people who love thee.  *sigh* 

      Joking aside, I am addicted to people who have something to say. People with opinions, particularly those who express them creatively, fascinate me and inspire me to think and write and, you guessed it, blog. It takes a bit bravery to put your hand up and say something, and that's nice for everyone (unless it's Mel Gibson, of course). Perhaps that's why I dislike X Factor so – you wanna put more people in the limelight who, more likely than not, have nothing original to say or contribute? Anyway, Marina has ideas. Lots of ideas.

      All of these ideas completely colour her music and performance. This current tour – the 'Burger Queen' tour – is so called because she sees burgers as 'trusty symbol[s] of mass culture and consumerism; of instant gratification and our western world ills', wink wink. Like us all, she appears equally fascinated and repelled by Western consumer culture and the false belief systems that this fosters (...gold-digging, misguided aspirational consumerism and our googly-eyed preoccupation with fame as a source of fulfilment and the answer to our inner ills, to name but a few...) Like most famous people, she's had to embrace these evils to get to the position where people will listen when she says how evil they are. Paradox. 

     Anyway, she has actively pursued fame herself, loves fashion (Hasan Hejazi named a dress after her, and her wardrobe is most certainly the product of someone with an interest in their own visual projection) and, of course, is a product of all these scary 'western ills' that she criticises. And she knows this and talks about it a lot. Now, I don't think that an easy position to negotiate, but she manages it. And I totally respect her for that. (Are we not all multi-faceted beings with contradictions and small hypocrisies residing alongside strongly held principles and beliefs? Is that perhaps what makes us human? Why be afraid of this? There are things worth criticising in this world, and they remain so even when we find it impossible to escape them ourselves). I just find it all very, very interesting. Also, the themes of her work are your classic 'underdog' themes - alienation, dislocation, the ignominy of yearning after your creative destiny when you could be out earning a crust. Big themes, thank god, and ones that seemed to strike a chord with some members of the audience, and, you guessed it, me. We all needs reminding that it's ok to be different sometimes.

      (If I sound like a wide-eyed fan, it's because I totally am).

      In terms of finding inspiration, and this blog, I'd say the message on this on is a bit of a no-brainer: be bold, be interesting and say what you feel. Sure, you're scared and frightened and insecure, but we all are. You might be angry and lonely and sad too, but I'll put money on the fact that you're not the only one. Share your big feelings with your audience or readership and they will love you for it. Maybe wear a kooky hat and some expressive clothing and see if that helps. Try not to be inspired by that.

     To close, I perhaps should mention her songs (bold, beautiful), her voice (imperfect, affecting) and the actual show that I saw last night. I also went to see her in May this year, and this time it was much bigger and more dramatic, with a short film playing at intervals and a crazy 'Mowgli's Road' themed hat (see blue-toned photo above; apologies for quality). The crowd were incredibly enthusiastic and notably varied in age, appearance and sex; Marina was charismatic, enthusiastic and funny, and sounded loud and powerful and soft and intimate by turn. In short, brilliant. If you haven't seen her live, I command you to catch her on her Burger Queen tour or listen to some of her music. There's a version of her covering Magnetic Man/Katy B's 'Perfect Stranger' on YouTube at the moment which is well worth a listen in addition to her own original stuff.

     Be inspired. Let it out.

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