But enough about that. I can forward you on the full 15,000 word dissertation and recommend you an album to listen to while you’re reading it if that’s really your thing.
Kingdoms of Colour is the perfect follow up to Portraits. It’s chilled-out, heartful music, accessible but fun, dance-friendly electronic sounds with that sun-soaked Maribou State, technicolor, travelling wonder that fans loved on record one and have been waiting for on the second. It’s an album that's been almost universally critically-acclaimed, and in our opinion, rightly so.
Live, the album is transformed into something you might not expect. With albeit incredibly impressive live instrumental work across the board, certain songs lose the neatly-cut electronic edge which defines their sound on the albums and almost spill into indie soundtracks, but the group go hard on the synths and electronic input in other places to make up for this.
It’s good music and an enjoyable listen throughout the set, but the music on stage does sounds pretty different to what’s on the record at times.
Crowd favourites come in the form of Portraits anthems The Clown, Steal and Midas Touch - the latter two of which also feature Holly Walker on the original record. It’s no coincidence that the songs on which Walker features on the album translate best to stage. The strength of the live vocalist helps anchor the performance and provides a more obvious focal point to stand alone numbers which can seem a little like impressive jam sessions at times.
Still, on the new record Turnmills has the crowd moving fast and Kingdom is an irresistible track.
QMU is not the greatest room for acoustics it must be added also, and that definitely played a part. It’s a big rectangle of a place with heavily overcrowded bars and it’s quite an easy to place to end up with a blocked view of the stage.
There’s no doubting the talent of Maribou State, though. In the studio they’ve shown their originality, their eye for detail and their ability to produce mesmerising electronic music that jumps from tranquil to disco in a well-measured blink of an eye. Live, all credit to them for the array of instruments on stage, for the performance, and for bringing the music to life in a new way.
It’s an entertaining hour, but it's one that is definitely at its best - something easy to judge from audience reaction - when Holly Walker is on stage.