anishachana
17th October 2019

Live Review: Kara Marni at YES

The Mancunion reviews Kara Marni’s debut headline tour
Live Review: Kara Marni at YES

Following the release of her second EP, No Logic, last Friday, 21-year-old Kara Marni took to the stage at YES last night for the Manchester portion of her first headline tour. 

An intimate yet lively crowd anticipated the appearance of the R&B/pop vocalist from London. Following a slight delay, Kara strutted on stage in a black co-ord, bright red lips and voluminous black curls to her first song ‘Move’ with an Amy Winehouse-esque swagger. Her visual aesthetic was as striking in person as it is on her social media.

From the outset, stage presence was not an issue for Kara Marni. The small venue, as well as her petite frame, somewhat contradicted the power and depth of her voice which had the potential to fill an entire arena. It is therefore unsurprising that she was asked to support Rita Ora on her tour last year. Perhaps because of the impact of her voice, the sound quality and volume were a little overbearing for the first couple of numbers. However, this was most likely due to the poor acoustics of the venue itself and this improved as the set progressed. 

Lasting only forty minutes in its entirety, the set was unpretentious and fairly short but well-balanced nonetheless. Highlights included an acoustic rendition of Miguel’s ‘Adorn’, which allowed Kara’s crystalline vocals and perfectly executed runs to resonate sublimely through a captivated crowd. Additionally, her cover of MJ Cole’s garage classic ‘Crazy Love’ gave a glimpse of Marni’s musical influences and her cover of Jorja Smith’s ‘On My Mind’ acted almost as a homage to the British female R&B singers dominating the popular music scene at the moment. It didn’t matter that I was unfamiliar with her music prior to the gig since the catchy hooks of songs such as ‘Opposite’ and ‘Lose My Love’  were contagious and lingered in my head long after. Furthermore, her performance debut of an unreleased song, ‘Sweet Time’ contained a sultry dance-break that demonstrated a performance ability that covers all bases.

What was particularly impressive about the 21-year-old was her engagement both with her audience and her highly energetic band. Her infectious charisma between songs showcased her demure and witty demeanour, which was greatly endearing. Moreover, meeting Kara after the show at the merchandise stand demonstrated that she has genuine gratitude for her supporters. This audience engagement is rare to come across and shows Kara’s potential in developing a loyal and dedicated fanbase which will carry her into future success as a popular artist. 

As an up-and-coming female artist in the popular music industry, Kara Marni seems to have the entire package. She has the look, the charisma and some of the most exceptional live vocals that I have experienced in a while. It is empowering to see such strong British female talent, especially at an age as young as 21. However, whilst Marni encapsulates the R&B, pop and garage style that is so popular at the moment, her music and aesthetic risks blurring into a commercial sameness that is difficult to distinguish from the likes of Mahalia, Jorja Smith and Mabel. I am keen to see if her musical output will develop into a more unique sound as her career progresses if she is to obtain the recognition she deserves. Nevertheless, I have high-hopes that Marni’s headline tour will be the first of many.

8/10


More Coverage

On ‘And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow’ Weyes Blood shines

On ‘And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow’ Weyes Blood shines

The ethereal singer-songwriter delivers strong track after strong track on her latest album
Sigur Ros move and exhilarate at O2 Apollo Manchester

Sigur Ros move and exhilarate at O2 Apollo Manchester

The Icelandic post-rockers return to O2 Apollo Manchester to celebrate their illustrious 25-year career
The Lightning Seeds are still gleaming at the Albert Hall

The Lightning Seeds are still gleaming at the Albert Hall

Live at the Albert Hall, The Lightning Seeds are a blast of energy, joy, and riotously good tunes (including ‘Three Lions’ of course!)
In conversation with Syd Minsky-Sargeant of Working Men’s Club

In conversation with Syd Minsky-Sargeant of Working Men’s Club

We sit down with the band’s frontman to discuss their latest album and upcoming show at Manchester Academy

Popular Articles

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap