They say the best things come to those who wait. It was a December evening in 2013 when we first caught The Mariannes playing at Dame District, and even though we didn’t catch their full set that evening we saw enough to leave a lasting impression. We’d always made it our intention to catch them live at some stage but had never managed to until this evening. But the wait paid off as soon as they took to the stage. As ‘Mama Please’ got proceedings underway there is a prevailing neatness to it that allows the delivery to richly step out. The folk trappings that are stowed away have a warranted lean showing when things get going. As a result the vocals are able to draw comfort from that approach in an obliging manner that adds as distinction as much as the pace adds conviction. Then a more lavish hold takes over with ‘Ache In My Heart’ which corners the Americana style in equally superb fashion. The handling on an instrumental level adds an appreciated essence to it all. Overall it is a virtuous effort in so many of the right respects, while the appreciated texture found in the delivery commendably steers it in the right direction.
With the refined calling that travels well from the opening line comes ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and it is complemented furthermore by the attractiveness of the steady flow which toils away here with great distinction. The Mediterranean feel coming from the mandolin adds a classy touch also to allow the sheltered calling seduce you unapologetically. There is a lot of fairness to be found in the tenderness of the next song ‘Fortress’, despite the strong manner to how it opens. The intent is inclined towards appreciating the hardened resolve as everything kicks in. That excellently maintains the urgency on show in the tempo and keeps everything directed. Next came the title track of their soon to be released EP and with ‘Lost With All Hands’ there is a noted development in the play. The cautious showing provides well in the outline and everything is carefully tracked to play to these strengths. Also consummate in the showing here is the vocal. This is something that draws strength from the weight of the lyrics and makes the most of the high observations in the metaphors.
From watching the band perform, you could see that they have a great understanding of the dynamic involved in linking intimacy to relaying it musically. That shows selectively with ‘Hurt’. Here there is a sense of belief in the reflective touches. That allows the emotive side through without it being a burden, and while it is a brief tune there is a spirited showing here none the less. They followed that up with another tidy number called ‘Wasted Love’. The unified calling in the noted flourishes are placed in a way that gives it genuine pull. Again there is a conclusive attraction that is put to the fore in a way that sits right with the lyrical narrative. As a result a fragile quality is called upon that comes directly from this to show the value and worth of the performance as they both take hold. All things must come to an end, and their excellent set was concluded by ‘God Fearing Woman’. It is kept going deliberately and the opening line sets a fine marker for everything to build upon. That is done with a striking level of depth. This in turn provides it all with good balance and the steady pick upkeeps things fluid. That telling affluence is certainly there by design, while the confirmation is provided by the dalliance of the banjo and mandolin combo. What a great tune to close a great set on is the best way to sum this one up.
Up next from the band is their EP launch in Whelan’s on April 9th.
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