LIVE: Marianas Trench @ Scala, London

By Eloise Bulmer

Marianas Trench’s ‘Suspending Gravity’ tour is in London tonight – it’s a chilly November evening and with the sun now setting before 5pm, the respite of an energetic pop-rock show is welcomed by everyone in the long, long queue outside tonight.

Having brought their friends and label-mates on tour with them to warm up the crowd, duo Dirty Radio turn Scala into a nightclub with their high-octane, bass-heavy tunes. Maybe a bit too far from what tonight’s audience were expecting to get the whole crowd involved, but there’s definitely some appreciative head bobbing going on.

Marianas Trench enter the stage all drama and glitter to whoops of delight, but the first big singalong of the night is for ‘Stutter’, a single from their ‘Ever After’ album released in 2011. This sparks a run of non-‘Phantoms’ tracks that speak to everyone in the room, if the words being sung back to the band are anything to go by. Later, the crowd raise the volume for their tongue-in-cheek lyric about not being able to top mega-hit ‘Call Me Maybe’ (co-written by frontman Josh Ramsay) during their performance of ‘Here’s to the Zeros’. ‘Pop 101’ turns the crowd into a room of people all making fun of chart music whilst still being charmed by Marianas Trench’s finesse of the pop-music genre. It’s a duality that highlights the ethos of the band – doing pop really well in all its forms whilst still staying fringe enough (at least in the U.K.) to be cool.

‘Haven’t Had Enough’ gets Ramsay jumping into the crowd to tour the room amongst a tangle of reaching limbs whilst later in the set, a chant of ‘ROYCE! ROYCE! ROYCE!’ for touring member Royce Whittaker starts almost entirely unprompted from the audience. This is clearly a band who are adored by the people in this room, and the love is returned. Before playing single ‘Rhythm of your Heart’ Ramsay lets us know that “I actually wrote this in England whilst we were on tour here – I wrote it in the tour bus.” If it wasn’t a fan favourite before, it surely is now.

The highlight and most perfect way to end the set is with ‘The Killing Kind’, closing the show as it does the album. It’s an electric performance switching from brooding and ominous to triumphant in the space of a few minutes. To play a seven-minute long non-single track and have everyone singing along like they’ll never sing again speaks to the energy and dedication Marianas Trench inspire and will continue to do so, whatever they’re planning next.