Featured image by @megfirthphoto (Nice People Magazine)
Ever since my older sister saw Marika Hackman at Latitude, way back in the years when I was too young to go to any festival, I’ve had the bugging need to see her live for myself. Without ever even having heard her music, what was described to me by my sister sounded so pure yet electrifying that I should’ve been amidst the crowd.
Lo and behold though, she came to Leeds on the 24th of September to play at the wonderful Brudenell Social Club. Accompanied by her three other band members, she took the stage sporting matching white ragged boiler suits.
Not caring about being blunt with the audience, she let us know her boiler suit sleeve was a reference to her setlist songs, which she had to refer to, many times. In its hilarity, the audience and Hackman connected over the reminder that we are all human.
Hackman may have forgotten her setlist, but you could tell that it was meticulously orchestrated. Dancing between the softer songs and her more unapologetic, grungy ones, the audience’s attention would never get a chance to get diverted away from her unbroken voice of perfection from the heavy electric and drums. Instead, they worked harmoniously as she see-sawed through her differing styles. Contrasting ‘all night’ with ‘i’m not where you are’, both from her third and latest album Any Human Friend, she accomplished just this. The audience continuously went from soft swaying to a good old boogie, and what a fun juxtaposition that is.
The paradox is that when you pay attention to the lyrics of ‘all night’, it is anything but soft. She sings libidinous lyrics in such a candid and frank way, it’s not until your attention is away from the melody that one realises Marika Hackman isn’t about the gentle, folk life. Instead she revels in crudeness, defies expectations and keeps her listeners guessing.
After awaiting seeing Marika Hackman for 5 years, in which time she has released three full-length albums, I’m Not Your Man (2017) being one of my favourite summer soundtracks, I can safely say she surpassed expectations and brought great ardour to Brudenell Social Club on the night of the 24th.
Words by Zoe Hapeshi