Marika Hackman and Sivu [Live]


Firstly, what a pleasure to have these two on tour together. Each on their own would be the making of an exciting enough show, but together they represent an absolute peach. The only thing to do is to judge is whether it is ripe.

Sivu took to the Lexington stage first, on the London stop of the joint tour. I don’t think that he would be seen as the support act. This was more of a joint thing – especially in London where Sivu is juggernauting his way up the ranks of new British artists. I’d been at the show where he supported Stornoway the previous Sunday, so I was aware of his ability to pick out a song on stage. Again, he hit the note this evening.

Sivu knits vocal technicality with catchy and hum-alongable tunes. Stripped of the modern sounding production that he has on his records he performed with just a pair of cellos. It really worked and he was mesmeric and absorbing. Little moments of vocal flourish bejewel songs of weight and strength. His album will be out next year. Fingers crossed gets it right, because if the potion is properly brewed then I think things could go rather well for him.

Marika Hackman. Marika Hackman. What a fascinating juxtaposition (nice word – and I’m not even an art student). She is the sweetest seeming girl, who sings the most gruesome and visually disturbing songs you are likely to find in the visually upsetting section of the extremist music enthusiasts music shop. It. Is. Brilliant.

A prime example is the song Cannibal. She talks about cutting off her nose and enjoying the blood in her mouth. She angelically serenades us with images of stabbing people’s eyes and of bandaging wounded faces. It is satisfying and real. A double tonic and tonic to the feeble lyrics the pour from the mouths of most artists these days.

Her songs are beautiful, cleverly constructed, totally engaging and they sounded even better on stage than how brilliant they are on record. The stories that accompany the dreamy melodies and chord patterns are transportative, and make you listen like a child being read to before bed. An enchanting set. I won’t even mention how she hilariously messed up one song, stopped, swore a few times, and then sheepishly finished, because it would only distract from my focus on how exceptional she was.

Listen to them both. It’s worth it. Really.