Review + Photography by John McEvoy

On an unusually warm autumnal Friday night it was a chance to catch critically acclaimed Maribou State on their current tour to promote their new album and EP which were released earlier this year.

Maribou 5

First up it was Skinny Pelembe who was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Doncaster, which I’m sure makes for an interesting take on life. He is a talented guy who delivered a low key acoustic, keyboard set utilising his MC, rap and vocal skills. Comparisons are I know an easy option, but vocally he reminded me a little of Benjamin Clementine, which in my opinion is no bad thing. Check out his latest EP, ‘Sleep More, Make More Friends’ and you may discover an interesting new talent.

Skinny Pelembe 1

Maribou State are an electronic dance duo who first appeared on the musical scene with their first EP ‘Habitat’ back in 2011. Since then they have released a further 5 EP’s and 2 albums culminating in their most recent album ‘Kingdoms in Colour’ released in September this year along with their most recent EP ‘Nervous Tics’ again release in late September. In addition they have done remixes for other artists, most notably amongst them, Lana Del Rey.

What’s interesting about this band is whilst they are mainly regarded as an electronic band they have merged the more traditional drums and guitars into their set and this results in a quite unique sound which the capacity crowd enjoyed. Occasionally there’s a feeling that they’re trying too hard to cover differing styles and there were a few times when I wished they simply went full dance with big beats and heavy bass. But to be fair this was only a minor quibble on my part and based on the reception from the appreciative audience I was clearly in a minority with these thoughts.

Maribou 2

Holly Walker made a couple of appearances throughout the set with ‘Nervous Tics’ and the sublimely wonderful ‘Steal’ which were amongst the highlights of the evening for me. And her version of ‘Midas’ was for me an absolute killer of a tune. For me this where I feel that Maribou State are their strongest with their tunes accompanied by a killer vocal which of course is a feature of their new album.

This is a band that are clearly very capable musicians and their guest vocal collective approach serves them well in a live environment. It was a real treat to see them and I can see why they are getting such favourable reviews both for their live performances and their recorded output. At the time of writing there are only 3 UK dates left before they venture off around the globe, but if you get chance to see them in the future I would urge you to go along. You won’t regret it!

Maribou 6

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