It was my first time at The White Hotel and my first time seeing Black Marble on Tuesday night.
Having discovered them on Spotify by pure chance some years ago and owing that to the Spotify radio algorithm I was intrigued at the prospect of their live performance as I knew very little about the band other than they were from New York.
Promptly they take the stage dressed humbly and like three utter misfits to an eclectic crowd, whilst sporting a backdrop of hypnotic visuals which prove to only enhance the ambience of their music, they instantly steal the room.
With the noticeable use of a backing track of heavy synth sounds, bass and drums it’s often a task to determine what is live and what isn’t.
Singer and guitarist Chris Stewart is clearly a very accomplished musician and his baritone, haunting vocals reverberate through the the walls of The White Hotel and across Salford.
I would have preferred a little more interaction with the audience in between songs just to hear about future gigs, new material, the current UK tour and any reassurance they were happy to be there as there was some noticeable dead air throughout.
The most memorable track was ‘Pretender’ from their 2012 album ‘A Different Arrangement’ which is beautifully produced and composed.
The track really entranced the crowd and injected some further energy into the already jiving congregation forcing them into a frenzy. Some more of their earlier material wouldn’t have gone amiss but otherwise the set was very calculated.
Musically Black Marble are very mesmeric and an aura of humility and shyness radiates from their static stage presence while also driving their intrigue.
If you haven’t already blessed your ears with their music I would strongly recommend you do so, particularly for fans of Joy Division, Depeche Mode and all things 80’s, dark and haunting. A perfect gig for the spooky season. 8/10
Article by Lucas Berry
Photo – Brandon Darby
Musik Magazine 2022