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Live Review: Marika Hackman – 23rd November 2017 – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK

2 min read
Photo: Tom McGenniss-Destro

2017 has been quite the year for Marika Hackman, the release of album I’m Not Your Man has seen her tour the world and achieve a coveted place at the top table of British music at present. Touring with Our Girl for the past few weeks, this weeks show was the big one – the home show, at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Taking to the stage shrouded in darkness and a suit as sharp as her wit, Hackman delves straight into the wry smile of Good Intentions; a subtle “sod off” to every person that ever tried to interfere in her personal life. There is a strong feminist undercurrent to Hackman’s tracks that are emphatically more powerful when witnessed live, which results in many a yelled singalong.

There is a confidence to Hackman and her band, with drummer Jessica Batour and bassist Jelly Denniston both adding their unique presence to proceedings. Each silhouette clearly having the time of their life playing to a home crowd of familiar faces. My Lover Cindy and Deep Green are both greeted happily by the crowd, but it is set closer Boyfriend that cements just how good a show this has been. Part and parcel of being a queer person is having people feel they are entitled to question the legitimacy of your relationships, but thanks to Marika Hackman there is now a perfect way to retort such things. It’s songs like this which act as examples of the fine wit present in much of Marika’s music both old and new, sounding serious whilst not keeping a straight face.

I’m Not Your Man maintains a sarcastic attitude that translates into an exceptional live show, and many leave the venue with a feeling it won’t be long before Marika Hackman is able to fill out considerably bigger spaces or festival slots. Marika Hackman’s ability to empower and to entertain crowds is something that needs to be encouraged at all opportunities.