Victoria House Concert B
April 4, 2013
Reviewed by Blake Jacob
An enthusiastic group welcomed West Coast folk artist Marina MArina to Victoria House Concert b on April 4, 2013. Marina’s unique warmth and striking music made this evening unforgettable. Her captivating opening act, folk duo The Ghostbirds, was a perfect match for her with their ethereal vocal arrangements and powerful lyrics.
Marina is a true storyteller, drawing in her listener with an easy smile and natural, comedic charm. Her melodies are comforting and unique. She introduces one song with, “This is my invitation song to all,” connecting the audience to her and to one another. A few people in the crowd reminisce between songs about attending one of Marina’s shows and spending a magical night afterwards singing along to her album in a pedi-cab under the stars.
One can’t resist singing along with Marina. Her voice is gorgeously smoky and full of feeling. As she sings, “I’ll be waiting when the truth gets in,” one envisions that she always finds the sweet in the bittersweet. Even her heartbreak songs seem lighthearted and hopeful. She remembers, “I reminisced because I miss the one hot moment when we kissed,” and then sharply, cynically, “but love is a con,” winking at the laughing and nodding audience members.
Marina’s music is reminiscent of, but not derivative of, Ani DiFranco. Her cover of DiFranco’s “You Had Time” was such a beautiful reinvention that hearing this song may forever evoke a memory of this night. A listener feels uplifted, centered, as if experiencing “a few green trees to clear your mind,” as one of her songs offers. When maracas and tambourines were passed through the audience, it felt as if these listeners had become a family supplementing her rhythm. This group of approximately thirty strangers-turned-friends begged her back for two encores. Marina sings, “in this place, we’re all the same,” and that feeling is undeniable.
Blake Jacob is a Vancouver Island poet whose essential nutrients are optimism, wordsmithery, and captivating melody.