Live Review: Mariana’s Trench @ Scala, 21.11.19

Words: Abi Scaife | Photography: Roman Zugarazo

Opening with the vocal-heavy ‘Elenora’, the set is powerful from the get go. Though they revisit songs from their second and third albums, like the punk-ish ‘Cross My Heart’ and fan favourite ‘Stutter’, the setlist has a heavy focus on eerie fifth studio album Phantoms. Between songs, lead singer Josh Ramsay – dressed head to toe in sparkles – comments on his shock at how well the record performed in the UK, to raucous cheers from the crowd.

Determined to make the most of the night, Ramsay jumps from the stage and sings ‘Haven’t Had Enoughfrom the audience. Though the rest of the band is significantly less vocal than Ramsay, their personalities shine through in their performance. Ian Casselman (drums) and Matt Webb (lead guitar) play at each other, while Mike Ayley (bassist) and guitar tech-turned unofficial fifth member Royce Whittaker share excited looks at the rising tempo. The intimacy of Scala serves only to amplify Ramsay’s voice. As many artists perform to their audience, this is much more a joint effort, Ramsay harmonising as the audience chants the melody. The night draws to a close with the ghostly ‘The Killing Kind’, showman Ramsay creeping about the stage supported by a Poe-ian silver handled cane – the perfect end to the evening.

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