Live Review: Marika Hackman – Stoke


Marika Hackman Live Review @ The Sugarmill 25/03/15

Marika Hackman flew in from Amsterdam Wednesday morning to resume her UK tour. Heading straight for The Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent – named by NME as one of Britain’s best small venues – the popular music spot played perfect host to an intimate setting.

Singer-song writer Emma Corbett-Usher was first to take the stage in the night’s all female line-up. Accompanied by keyboard and loop-pedal, Emma set the mood for the rest of the artists. Followed by an energetic Maddy Storm, rock chic in disguise and resident support act Charlotte Carpenter, the girls created a feminine tone for Marika to work with.

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The crowds’ murmurs soon subside when Marika enters the room. Silence filled the mill and a melancholic atmosphere was set. With her blue hair turning white underneath the stages spotlight, the headline act looked comfortable surrounded by her array of guitars. Six to be exact.

Marika plays a mix of songs from her previous EP’s ‘Sugar Blind’ and ‘Deaf Heat’ and a selection of tracks from debut album “We Slept At Last”. Without acknowledging the crowd, Hackman dove headfirst into the set. Her airy vocals filled the room, captivating the audience.

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Following several gloomy tracks Marika lifted the mood introducing album hit “Monday Afternoon”. “Here’s another happy song for you all to sing along too”. It was of course sarcasm and no surprise when Marika went on to sing of a tragic love story in which a woman dies.

The last time Marika performed at The Sugarmill was around two years ago supporting Benjamin Francis Leftwich. She reminisced with the audience about a skeleton hanging in the women’s toilets and laughed at how ironic it is that a symbol of death is compatible with her music.

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Light-hearted humour was brought into the show following a minor lyric mishap although Marika soon won the crowd over with her genuine vulnerability. “Sorry my mind turned to mush”. A few other mishaps later and Marika had the crowd back on her side. An anecdote involving Marika and a fly being inhaled mid performance seemed to do the trick.

After congratulating the support acts for their performances, Marika ends the evening by thanking the audience for their intensive listening (even mentioning The Mills infamous noisy sticky floor) Marika ends the show on a high with old favourite, ‘Cinnamon.’

~Top notch work by Guest Reviewer Olivia Eley & Photographer Mr Tony Woollistcroft~