Marika Hackman at The Cookie, Leicester (Live Review)

Marika Hackman’s I’m Not Your Man will undoubtedly be on my end of the year list, so to get the chance to hear the majority of it performed live was one not to be missed. I wasn’t expecting any jumping around or moshing because this isn’t that type of music but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy myself as thoroughly as I did. That doesn’t mean I was expecting it to be terrible, I knew she’d be brilliant but I really could not stop bobbing my head throughout the whole thing. 

The support act was Our Girl, a band I’d listened to briefly on Spotify and really enjoyed the stuff I heard. They were very good live, however it wasn’t until I saw them up on stage that I realised that the lead singer was the guitarist out of The Big Moon. Then I was distracted wondering how she splits her time between two bands, one of which has become incredibly successful and must be busy on a daily basis. Also, how are the other members of The Big Moon okay with her splitting her time between two bands? Anyway, I digress, Our Girl were absolutely fantastic, albeit the vocals were set up a little loud on the day.

Marika came on to raucous applause for such a small gig. But I suppose a sold out Cookie can make quite a bit of noise if it wants to. She then ploughed through songs effortlessly, with her whispful and yet beautiful voice. Something I was a fan as soon as I heard her music. She surprisingly did quite a lot of tracks in the set, even managing to squeeze in a few off of her first album which was quite refreshing to hear after she said in an interview she wasn’t going to perform them because that chapter of her life is over.

There was quite a lot of comic relief between songs from Miss Hackman and her band, the bassist even pausing to tell a few very cringey yet very funny jokes along the way. But the funniest moment of the night came from a solitary voice in the crowd shouting “play Let Me In” and Marika politely refusing, “Let Me In” was heckled from the dark again. This time the singer hid her annoyance less well but joked “You’re already in”. A bit of soundchecking for the next song later and the voice piped up again “You can do it Marika”. Looking more annoyed but stating whilst laughing Marika Hackman replied “I know I can do it but I’m just not going to”. There were giggles on stage and I think that little bit of weirdness made the show a little more fun, the crowd and artist now had an inside joke.

The blistering heat of a cramped room underneath a bar could not stop Marika from jumping and dancing around on stage, before walking off and coming on for the encore to play a beautiful version of Cigarette, one of the most exquisite songs released this year. Her band then came back on and they blistered through two more songs. Also, massive shoutout to Marika for reserving some of the limited edition vinyl + 7” for the tour, was absolutely buzzing to pick one of those up!