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It’s been three long years since Marika Hackman played a headline show in Brighton. It was just after the release of her second studio album, 2014’s We Slept At Last, and Green Door Store was packed to its full 280 person capacity with absolutely no room to spare. It was much the same story when she played The Haunt last Monday night – however this time her performance exuded a maturity and sense of experience which hadn’t been present before.

Marika was supported by Our Girl, a three-piece indie rock group fronted by The Big Moon’s own Soph Nathan, a band who have previously collaborated with the artist on her recent single ‘Boyfriend’. Performing a series of tracks including the gentle ‘Level’ and more upbeat ‘Being Around’, the band set a chilled tone for the gig and were well received, with shouts and screams audible from the fans who had clearly come down early just to see them.

Opening with ‘Good Intentions’ a track from her most recent album  I’m Not Your Man (which takes its name from a lyric in the song), Marika had the crowd on side instantly and a newfound confidence radiated from her throughout the performance. The audience went wild at the opening notes of ‘My Lover Cindy’, before the band went on to play a jazzed up version of one of Marika’s first singles, ‘Bath is Black’. With a samba style drum rhythm and bouncy guitar riffs, the track sounded fresh and exciting despite having been originally released back in 2013, and stood out as one of the set’s highlights – despite it’s position buried deep in the middle of the performance.

The distinctive bass line of ‘Time’s Been Reckless’ sent the crowd into a frenzy as Marika and her band worked their way through a series of tracks from her most recent album including ‘So Long’ and ‘Cinnamon’. Cutting the set short due to curfew, the crowd’s disappointment was soon soothed by the melancholic tones of ‘Animal Fear’, before ‘Boyfriend’ (a track they had clearly all been waiting to hear), sent them dancing and spinning. As we all squeezed our way out of the venue one thing was clear; every member of that audience would spend the rest of the night hoping that it wouldn’t be another three years before Marika Hackman headlined Brighton again.

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